When RFK, Jr., announced that he was running for president as an independent, some thought that could spell trouble for Joe Biden. But a new poll shows that’s not necessarily the case. Here is the full story.
Not Your Typical Kennedy
For the last several years, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has seemed intent on building himself into a contrarian with broad appeal for people who aren’t happy with the current establishment.
No Lack of Controversy
From his anti-vax stance to his thoughts about CIA involvement in the assassination of his uncle John to theories about stolen elections, Kennedy has drawn plenty of attention to himself.
Pulling Away from the Past
At the same time, many Democrats have tried to distance themselves, and the party as a whole, from the man whose family name carries so much mystique and history in American politics.
Towing the Family Line
Even so, Kennedy announced in the spring of 2023 that he was running for president in 2024 as a Democrat, the party of his family.
Not Getting Any Attention
But as the months went by, Kennedy found it harder and harder to get any play from Democratic circles. And he expressed concerns that his party was not taking any candidate seriously, aside from President Joe Biden.
Time for a Change
So, fed up with what he said was a lack of respect and acknowledgement from Biden and other Democrats, Kennedy decided to make a change.
Breaking from Tradition
In early October, Kennedy announced that he still planned to run for president, but that he was going it on his own.
Scrambling to Make Sense of It All
Immediately, Kennedy’s move to run as an independent sent up red flags in both major parties and sent political pundits to their drawing boards to figure out what it all meant.
Ross Perot Redux?
Many came to the conclusion that, while Kennedy was unlikely to win the election as an independent, he had enough clout to tip the balance one way or the other. Visions of Ross Perot started haunting dreams across the land.
Bush Is Safe This Time
But, while Perot pulled huge chunks of votes away from George Bush as he battled Bill Clinton, the expectation among many experts was that Kennedy would have the opposite effect.
No Sweat for Biden
If Joe Biden was ever worried about an independent Kennedy costing him the election, though, a new poll might set the president’s mind at ease.
Biden Still on Top
According to a poll of about 1300 United States adults run jointly by NPR, PBS, and Marist, Biden would win in a three-way vote between him, Kennedy, and Donald Trump if the election were held today.
A Mixed Bag
In particular, 44 percent of the poll participants support Biden, with 37 percent opting for Trump, and 16 percent for Kennedy.
When respondents were asked about a two-way battle between Biden and Trump, though, that margin dropped to a 49-46 advantage for Biden.
No Lead Is Safe
With a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points, neither of those tallies is a safe lead for Biden.
Republicans at Risk
But it appears from these limited results that more Republicans could be swayed to Kennedy’s hodge-podge views on issues instead of just towing the party line.
Biden Needs Biden?
Adding Kennedy to the mix just might be the insurance policy the president needs to make sure he can take down Trump once again in a November showdown.
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