Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

A strong majority of Washington voters support a state initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a poll released on Monday shows.

The latest poll from SurveyUSA, conducted on behalf of Seattle-based NBC affiliate KING-TV, shows that 57 percent of likely voters in the state support Initiative 502, which would legalize and regulate cultivation, distribution and possession of small amounts of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older.  Thirty-four percent are opposed.

Similar measures will also be brought to a vote in Colorado and Oregon this year.  

Read More →

A Gallup poll conducted earlier this year found a majority of Libyans approved of the United States and favored the NATO mission that ultimately helped topple longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The survey, released last month and conducted between March and April of this year, showed that 54 percent of Libyan adults approved of the job performance of U.S. leadership, compared with 30 percent who disapproved.  The European Union and United Kingdom received comparable approval ratings in the poll.

Additionally, the poll showed that 75 percent of Libyans favored the 2011 NATO military intervention, while only 22 percent were opposed.

Read More →

Andrew Cuomo remains one of the most popular governors in the country, a new poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 70 percent of New Yorkers approve of the job their Democratic governor is doing, compared with a mere 16 percent who disapprove.  Elected in 2010, Cuomo has claimed lofty approval numbers for virtually his entire first term.  According to Quinnipiac, his lowest mark came in February of last year, when a still-impressive 56 percent of of New York voters approved of Cuomo's job performance.  

Cuomo's popularity transcends party lines, with 66 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats statewide approving of his job performance in Wednesday's poll.  He also boasts a minimum approval rating of 69 percent among independents, men, women, whites, African-Americans and Latinos.  Moreover, Cuomo is as widely approved in the more conservative upstate New York (68 percent) as he is in the liberal New York City metro region (70 percent).

The PollTracker Average currently places Cuomo's approval rating at 67.6 percent.

Read More →

A majority of registered voters nationwide have a favorable opinion of President Barack Obama for the first time since the spring, according to a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post released Wednesday.  

The poll shows that 52 percent of American voters view Obama favorably, compared with 45 percent who view him unfavorably.  That represents a marked turnaround from the previous ABC/WaPo survey released a week ago and conducted before the Democratic National Convention, which showed Obama's favorability rating under water.  It's also the highest mark for Obama's popularity since mid-April, when an ABC/WaPo showed the president's favorability rating at 54 percent.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, continues to nurse a low level of personal popularity, with 44 percent viewing the Republican nominee favorably and 49 percent viewing him unfavorably.  Romney has battled a negative favorability rating in each ABC/WaPo poll since early January.   

The PollTracker Average currently mirrors Wednesday's poll, with Obama boasting a favorability rating of 52.4 percent that has been trending up over the last month.

Read More →

When it comes to news regarding the nation's economy, Republicans and Democrats may as well be in different countries.

A new survey from Pew Research Center released Tuesday illustrates a sharp partisan divide over perceptions of news reports on the national economy.  Sixty percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the U.S. economy, compared with only 15 percent of Democrats who say the same.  Fittingly, independents fall between the two parties, with 36 percent saying they are hearing mostly bad economic news.  

The partisan differences apply to news on other parts of the economy.   Seventy-five percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation, compared with just 34 percent of Democrats.  But the gap closes on the issue of gas prices: 89 percent of Republicans say they are hearing mostly bad news on that front, while 65 percent of Democrats concur.  

Read More →

For only the second time since Gallup began tracking the head-to-head presidential match-up in 2012, President Barack Obama has reached the 50 percent threshold.

Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney among registered voters nationwide in Gallup's Tuesday release, 50 percent to 44 percent.  The last time either candidate polled that high was in the tracking period of April 21-26, when the president led Romney by 7 points, 50 percent to 43 percent.  Gallup began testing the match-up between Obama and Romney on April 11.  

Tuesday's release comes amid palpable signs that Obama earned a bounce from the Democratic National Convention.  The president had been polling at 49 percent over the last three days in Gallup's tracking, and a CNN poll released Monday showed Obama opening up a 6-point lead over Romney nationally.

Obama's approval rating also met the 50 percent mark in Tuesday's release, the fifth consectutive day at least half of respondents said they approve of the president's job performance in Gallup's tracking.

The PollTracker Average currently shows Obama holding nearly a 3-point lead over Romney, 48.6 percent to 45.8 percent.


Read More →

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a slim advantage over Mitt Romney among likely voters -- a slight change from where the race stood before the Republican and Democratic conventions.

The poll, conducted entirely after the Democratic National Convention, shows Obama with a narrow 49-48 percent lead over Romney among likely voters. In the previous ABC/WaPo survey released late last month -- and conducted before each party's convention -- Romney held a 2-point edge among likely voters.

While Obama enjoyed a nominal 3-point bump among likely voters after the conventions, he saw a larger 7-point swing among the larger pool of registered voters. The new poll gives him a 50-44 percent lead among registered voters, compared with the last ABC/WaPo in late August that gave Romney a 47-46 percent lead.

The president's lagging support with likely voters has emerged as a trend over the last month, with many pollsters having shifted away from broader samples as the campaign moves to the final stretch, although he did claim a clear post-convention bounce in a new CNN poll released Monday.

Read More →

President Barack Obama claims a comfortable lead in Minnesota, a new poll released Tuesday shows.

According to the latest poll from SurveyUSA, conducted on behalf of Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP-TV, Obama leads Romney among likely voters in Minnesota, 50 percent to 40 percent.  The 10-point gap represents breathing room for Obama, who held a 6-point lead in SurveyUSA's previous poll of the North Star State in July.

Democrats have carried Minnesota in every presidential election cycle since 1972.  Obama picked up the state's 10 electoral votes in 2008, defeating Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 10 points.  

Read More →

Amid growing evidence that President Barack Obama earned a post-convention bounce, a new poll released Tuesday shows that voters think the Democrats put on a better confab than the Republicans.  

The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted on behalf of Daily Kos and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), shows that 49 percent of likely voters nationwide believe that the Democrats had a more successful convention, compared with 35 percent who think the Republican convention was more successful. 

Obama opened up a 6-point lead in a new CNN poll released Monday, perhaps the strongest sign yet that the incumbent benefitted from his party's gathering in Charlotte, N.C. far more than Mitt Romney did from the Republican National Convention held in Tampa, Fla. the week before.  

Read More →

Forty-three percent of Americans are more likely to vote for President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democratic National Convention — slightly more than those who were moved to vote for Mitt Romney after the Republican National Convention — while Obama's speech also received higher marks than Romney's, according to a new poll released Monday by Gallup.

Forty percent said they were more likely to vote for the GOP ticket of Romney and Paul Ryan after the RNC. Thirty-eight percent said the DNC made them less likely to vote for the president, while 20 percent said the convention made no difference on their vote.

Obama's Thursday night speech earned a rating of either "excellent" or "good" by 43 percent of respondents, compared with 38 percent who said the same of Romney's nomination address — the lowest rating given to a nominee's convention speech since Gallup started tracking it in 1996.  

Neither candidate came close to matching the public's favorable response to former President Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night at the DNC.  Fifty-six percent rated Clinton's speech — in which he formally nominated Obama for a second term — as "good" or "excellent."


Read More →