Will RFK Jr Ruin Trump Or Biden’s Chances?

For months, people have been complaining that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. would only act as a spoiler in a presidential rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

Kennedy is running as an independent after a brief stint in the Democratic primary, and he even said that Biden gave the race to Trump by not withdrawing. In a widely reported news conference on Wednesday, he pushed the president to sign a “no spoiler vow” that would require the “weakest” contender to withdraw.

Kennedy addressed an audience in New York, saying, “I believe what we all want in this election is that Americans not have to feel like they have to vote out of fear, that they feel they can vote out of optimism.” “That will only occur if I run against President Trump or President Biden in a two-way contest.”

Kennedy, who trails considerably behind Biden in the polls yet has a double digit lead, attempted to turn the narrative against him on its head during the news conference. However, the reaction from the Biden and Trump campaigns indicates the increasing concern that, even if he is a long shot, he would unexpectedly sway the race.

After the press conference, the Trump team released its most recent opposition research as the Democratic National Committee tried to link Kennedy to “MAGA Republicans.”

Surveys do not always paint a complete picture of the political landscape. This week’s Quinnipiac University Poll, for instance, revealed that Biden and Trump each had 37% of the vote, while Kennedy received 16% of the hypothetical vote.

Kennedy seems to be taking more votes away from Trump, according to the study.

According to Mark Bouchard, associate director of survey operations at Quinnipiac University Poll, “29% of individuals who stated they would vote for Kennedy when given the choice had before claimed they would vote for Biden.” Bouchard made this statement to the Washington Examiner. “Those who had previously declared they would vote for Trump have changed their minds and said they would vote for Kennedy when given the option.”

But Jill Stein of the Green Party and Cornel West, another well-known independent, had the opposite effect on Biden as Kennedy had on Trump.

After Kennedy declared in October that he was not running as a Democrat, Democrats decided not to take any chances and took an aggressive stance against him. His outside organization, American Values 2024, paid $7 million to purchase an advertisement during this year’s Super Bowl.

To address Kennedy and other third-party candidates both legally and rhetorically, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), acting on behalf of the Biden campaign, established a specialized team. In an attempt to undermine Kennedy’s keynote speech at the Web3 innovation conference in Denver in March, it even produced an NFT.

Six of Kennedy’s eleven siblings were among the fifteen members of his family who endorsed Biden in Pennsylvania in April. In March, several members of the Kennedy family were present at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

According to Darrell West of the Brookings Institution and author of Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power, Biden “understands the threat and will seek to remind voters of Kennedy’s anti-vaxing sentiments, which are more likely to connect with conservative voters,” he told the Washington Examiner. If Kennedy is successful, he may get as many votes from Trump as Biden.

In addition to Kennedy’s remarks on Jan. 6 and democracy, the DNC and outside organizations, such as American Bridge 21st Century, have taken advantage of the ambiguity surrounding his stance on abortion in the past month.

During Wednesday’s news conference, DNC spokesman Matthew Corridoni told reporters, “RFK Jr. received encouragement to run from MAGA Republicans, Trump’s largest contributor is supporting his candidacy, and a campaign aide recently admitted that the campaign’s primary goal is to oppose President Biden.” “It is understandable that RFK Jr. has stated he would sign a nationwide abortion ban and consider pardoning Jan. 6 insurrectionists, given the support ‘friends’ like them have given him.”

“RFK Jr. is a spoiler for Donald Trump; the American people need to know the truth,” Corridoni declared.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Third Way spokesperson Kate deGruyter stated that Democrats are worried about Kennedy and other third-party candidates because “it takes a very small segment of the electorate in the right places to tilt the race to Donald Trump.” Her left-leaning organization had been focusing on opposing the No Labels campaign prior to its collapse last month.

Kennedy’s ability to be on the ballot in the locations that will determine the outcome of the election is still up in the air, according to deGruyter. She said, speaking of Maricopa County, the crucial Arizonan county headquartered in Phoenix, “If a lot of those votes are concentrated there, that makes a much larger impact than if they are located in Utah or California.”

The Kennedy campaign announced this week that he will be running for office in California following his nomination by the state’s American Independent Parties in California, Michigan, and Utah. Additionally, Kennedy’s team asserts that it has the necessary number of signatures on petitions for the ballots of seven other states: Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

According to the polling aggregate of RealClearPolitics, Kennedy has an average of 8.6% support in the battleground state of Michigan, compared to Trump’s 41%, Biden’s 40.8%, Stein’s 1.8%, and West’s 1.3%. In the absence of third-party contenders, Trump leads Biden with 46% of the vote to 44.8.

It is only recently that Trump and his Republican supporters have intensified their criticism of Kennedy, albeit less cogently than Democrats.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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