How RFK Jr. has become the wild card for the 2024 election and the surprising predictions revealed in new polling.
When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced he would run as an independent instead of remaining a contender for the Democrat Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, pundits immediately started debating about whether the candidate would take more votes away from President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump.
A series of recent polls show that Mr. Kennedy is gaining momentum and is having a mostly equal impact on both candidates.
A survey of registered voters conducted from Siena College and the New York Times released in early November indicated that in six battleground states, Mr. Kennedy would receive 24 percent of the vote in a three-way race, while President Trump would get 35 percent and President Biden 33 percent. The balance said they remained undecided or wouldn’t vote.
The poll included 3,662 likely voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The margin of sampling error is about 4.5 percent plus or minus for each state poll.
“Trump only retains significant leads in Nevada and Georgia. Arizona and Pennsylvania move from the Trump column to dead even. And Wisconsin and Michigan remain very tight,” Siena College Research Institute Director Dr. Don Levy said in a statement.
The same poll showed Mr. Kennedy leading President Biden and President Trump among voters under the age of 45 in those six states.
Mr. Kennedy registered 34 percent support among voters aged 18 to 29 compared to 30 percent for President Biden and 29 percent for President Trump. For voters aged 30 to 44, Mr. Kennedy led with 31 percent while President Biden and President Trump each collected 30 percent.
Mr. Kennedy is significantly ahead among independents.
“While 18 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans say they would back RFK, 39 percent of independents would back Kennedy, compared to 28 percent for Biden and 25 percent for Trump.”Mr. Levy said.
The results of that survey reflect a Nov. 1 study by Quinnipiac University that showed independents support Mr. Kennedy at 36 percent, President Trump at 31 percent, and President Biden at 30 percent.