Democrats and some Republicans worry RFK Jr. will be a 'spoiler' in the November election


While President Joe Biden has begun to overtake former President Donald Trump in head-to-head polling, polls are leading independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., causing the count to deteriorate.

A Morning Consult poll released Monday showed Biden up 2 points over his predecessor (the vote was split 44-42) and a March 27 Quinnipiac poll showed Biden up 3 points (48-45). However the same Quinnipiac survey, and Tuesday's Trafalgar Group survey, both show the incumbent president losing in November when third-party candidates are also considered, notably leading independent RFK Jr.

In fact, the RealClearPolitics polling average has Trump leading Biden by an average of 3.5 points in a hypothetical matchup that also includes Kennedy, Dr. Cornel West and Jill Stein.

While Kennedy initially ran in the Democratic primary – following in the footsteps of his uncles Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, as well as his father RFK Sr. – he pivoted to an independent race and has since used his influence to criticize Biden. Using the platform. He believes he is a greater threat to American liberal democracy than Trump.

“President Biden is a huge threat to democracy,” the candidate said on CNN Monday night. President Biden is the first president in history to use federal agencies to censor political speech.

Kennedy's primary argument revolves around a claim shared by many conservatives that the Biden administration worked with social media companies like Twitter and Meta to censor vaccine-and-COVID-skeptical voices as the 2021 COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were administered. The Biden administration defended its relationship with the companies, arguing about the need to fight disinformation, while journalists and analysts have said the releases were White House requests and not orders that the companies needed, or Even followed through (National Desk reported extensively on debunking these claims during “The Twitter Files”).

Kennedy himself was temporarily banned from Meta-owned Instagram in 2021 after he shared debunked theories about COVID vaccines that were “free speech” on the campaign trail. I can promote their arguments. However, despite his longtime commitment to key Democratic stances such as environmentalism, anti-war, and anti-bigotry, Kennedy has been kept at arm's length by the party, which his family founded because of its history of vaccine skepticism. The reason was help, which is before the COVID period. Business.

“If he's also taking votes on their core issue — democracy, free speech — that's an additional threat to the Democrats,” Dr. Richard Weitz, professor emeritus in Towson University's Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development, said in an interview. Said about Kennedy. National Desk.

However, his conversations on the environment and corporate greed are attracting some young progressives who have become disillusioned with Biden over his continued support for Israel in the wake of the war in Gaza. An Ipsos poll published March 22 found that Kennedy is ahead among Gen Z and Gen However, Biden led both Kennedy and Trump with registered voters.

This concern has been expressed by staunch Democrats in Kennedy's own family – such as his sister, Rory, who is worried that her brother is handing the keys to the White House to Trump for a second round – and longtime Democratic strategist James Carville. , who spoke at Politico in a televised speech on Sunday, said that Democrats are “not only losing” young voters but “they are leaving in droves.”

Polling has not yet captured the impact on the emerging voting base of Kennedy's new running mate, 38-year-old lawyer and philanthropist Nicole Shanahan. The Daily Show interviewed RFK Jr. supporters outside the Oakland rally where he introduced Shanahan and reactions were mixed, with one even calling the appointment “disappointing.”

Kennedy has also been fundraising vigorously from donors who have also contributed to Trump, raising concerns among the former president's power base as he looks for cash to offset campaign expenses on his legal bills. .

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