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 new poll from Pew suggests that President Barack Obama's public support of same-sex marriage will have a negligble effect on his re-election prospects.  

In the nationwide survey, 52 percent said last week's announcement had no effect on their opinion of the president, while 25 percent now view him less favorably and 19 percent view him more favorably.  

Among African-Americans — an often socially conservative voting bloc — the story is very much the same: 68 percent said they were unaffected by the announcement, 16 percent view the president more favorably and 13 percent view him less favorably.  

A new SurveyUSA poll shows President Barack Obama with a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney in Minnesota.

Among registered voters, Obama leads the presumptive Republican nominee 52 percent to 38 percent.  The poll's margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.  It was commissioned by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.  

Once thought of as a battleground state, Minnesota has not voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1972.  Obama won the state four years ago over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by ten percentage points.  The TPM Poll Average of the presidential race in Minnesota currently shows the president with a comparably wide lead.  


A poll by a Democratic pollster and commissioned by a Democratic Super PAC shows Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) leading all three potential Republican challengers in the Missouri senate race.

The statewide survey was conducted last week by the Mellman Group on behalf of Majority PAC.  In the poll, McCaskill tops state treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) 45 percent to 36 percent, John Brunner 46 percent to 38 percent and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) 44 percent to 39 percent.  Steelman is the favorite to win the Republican nomination.

The Missouri senate race is viewed as a crucial challenge for Democrats, whose hopes of retaining a majority in the United States Senate will partly depend on McCaskill winning re-election.  McCaskill is nearing the end of her first term after being elected by a thin margin in 2006.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows the Democratic incumbent with a slight lead over Steelman.  


A new poll done over the weekend should serve as encouraging news to embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who is facing a recall election on June 5.  

In the statewide automated survey of likely voters conducted by We Ask America on Sunday, Walker holds a 9-point lead over Democratic nominee Tom Barrett. Walker claims the support of 52 percent, while Barrett trails with 43 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 2.81 percentage points.  

We Ask America made clear that the race is "fluid" and far from over.  The TPM Poll Average currently shows Walker with a nearly 7-point lead over Barrett, who claimed the Democratic Party's nomination last week.

A new poll shows President Barack Obama besting presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Maine.

In the statewide survey, which was conducted earlier this month by the Maine-based polling firm Critical Insights, the president leads Romney 50 percent to 42 percent.  

The poll is notable in that the former Massachusetts governor actually has a stronger favorability rating than Obama, breaking a long-running trend throughout the campaign.  Romney is viewed favorably by 51 percent of Maine voters, compared to 47 percent who have a favorable view of Obama.


A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that a majority of Americans favor at least some legal recognition — be it marriage or civil unions — for same-sex couples. 

The nationwide survey found that 38 percent of respondents believe that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry, while 24 percent believe that civil unions should provide legal rights and recognition to such couples. Only 33 percent said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex couples.  

Not surprisingly, younger Americans who participated in the survey strongly support marriage equality. Among the respondents between ages 18-44, 53 percent support full marriage rights for same-sex couples. Only 30 percent in that age bracket oppose all legal recognition. 

A new poll by the Glengariff Group shows President Barack Obama holding a roughly 5-point advantage over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Michigan. 

In the statewide survey of likely voters conducted May 10-11, Obama leads Romney 45.1 percent to 39.5 percent.  The poll's margin of error is 4 percentage points.

While Michigan Romney's former home, the president has enjoyed a political boost there from the successful execution of the U.S. automotive industry bailout. Romney struggled to win the Michigan Republican primary over Rick Santorum in late February. The TPM Poll Average shows Obama with a slight lead over the former Massachusetts governor in the Great Lakes State.



A USA Today/Gallup poll released this week shows presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney holding a slight advantage over President Barack Obama on the crucial issue of the economy.  

When voters were asked to choose which candidate "would do a better job of handling the economy over the next four years," Romney was the choice of 47 percent of respondents compared to 45 percent who gave the nod to Obama.  

The TPM Poll Average shows a comparable split, but with the president edging the former Massachusetts governor when it comes to who voters prefer to handle economic matters. 

Delivering the commencement address at Virginia Tech on Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama commended the student body's spirit of service in the wake of recent tragedies on the Blacksburg, Va. campus.  

"You have also shown us that through service, we can heal ourselves," the First Lady told the graduating class.

Virginia Tech was rocked by a shooting that left two dead last December, nearly five years after a 2007 massacre in which 32 people were killed.  

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows divided support on three of the most prominent achievements — and three of the most salient planks for his nascent re-election campaign — from President Barack Obama's first term.  

The poll asked respondents for their opinion of the U.S. auto industry bailout, stronger regulation of the nation's financial institutions and the economic stimulus program.

While all three issues drew comparable levels of support, the loans provided to the auto industry are the most popular, with 50 percent viewing them favorably compared to 43 percent who view the bailout unfavorably.  With regard to increased regulation of the financial industry, 49 percent have a favorable view while 44 percent have a negative view.  The economic stimulus — which Republicans have maligned as an unmitigated failure — is clearly the most polarizing, with 47 percent viewing it favorably and 48 percent unfavorably.