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Could Joe Biden Actually Lose the Democratic Primary?

Joe Biden. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Joe Biden was the featured guest for the Tom Johnson Lectureship at the LBJ Presidential Library on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. The conversation was moderated by Mark Updegrove, former director of the LBJ Library.

No, President Biden is not only 1 point ahead of RFK Jr: Despite a misleading poll that came out last week, President Joe Biden is not, in fact, leading Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., by a single point among Democratic voters. 

Joe Biden in Trouble? 

President Joe Biden is not facing any opposition from major Democratic party figures for the 2024 presidential nomination, and has consolidated establishment support since officially announcing his candidacy last month. 

However, Biden has two opponents, at least so far: Environmental and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and author and activist Marianne Williamson, who ran for president in 2020.

The DNC has already announced that it is not planning on hosting debates in the 2024 cycle. 

One poll released last week indicated that Biden had such a small lead over Kennedy that they were nearly statistically tied.

But it turns out that the presentation of the “poll” was highly misleading. 

The idea came from a screenshot that came from an episode of “The Absolute Truth,” a show hosted on Mike Lindell’s Frank Speech channel by Emerald Robinson, a former host on Newsmax and One America News. It featured a poll question, from Rasmussen Reports, asking “if the candidates for the 2024 Democratic nomination were Joe Biden, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Marianne Williamson, which candidate would you vote for?” 

The results listed Biden at 36 percent, Kennedy at 35 percent, Williamson at 6 percent, “some other candidate” at 11 percent, and “not sure” at 12 percent. 

However, Rasmussen’s own Twitter account corrected the poll. 

“Fact Check: These are not the Democratic voter results,” the tweet said. “They are the ALL VOTERS results. Biden has 62% of Dem voters vs 19% for Kennedy.”

There’s a reason for this: Kennedy, even though he’s the son and namesake of a famous former Democratic presidential candidate, one who comes from one of the nation’s most famous Democratic families, appears to have a great deal of Republican support. 

Much associated with the anti-vaccine sentiment, even before the pandemic, Kennedy has regularly been interviewed in conservative media and has support from figures of the right like Steve Bannon and Alex Jones. 

“Bobby Kennedy would be, I think, an excellent choice for President Trump to consider,” NBC News quoted Bannon as saying on his “War Room” show. Those sentiments were echoed by Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn tweeted in April, of Kennedy, that “I am really starting to like this presidential candidate’s attitude.”

Kennedy was also a multi-time guest on Tucker Carlson on Fox News and praised Carlson as “breathtakingly courageous” after Fox dropped him. 

Why are all of these longtime, stridently pro-Trump archconservatives suddenly full of praise of someone who is running for president as a Democrat? Do they agree with him on vaccines, Ukraine/Russia, and a handful of other issues? 

Or is there something more nefarious at work here, where people in the Trump orbit are actively pushing a primary challenge within President Biden’s party, while claiming — as they did in 2016 — that the Democratic primaries are “rigged.” 

No hard proof has emerged that this is organized in any way, or that these people came up with the same idea independently. 

Kennedy made the case for himself in an interview with Fox News. 

“Yes, I can win,” Kennedy said in the interview. “The public polls are showing me at 20% over for the Democrats, and our private polling is showing that I have very strong support among independents and even Republicans.”

Kennedy went on to describe himself as the Democrat most likely to win a general election. 

“So much stronger than any other Democratic candidate,” the candidate said. “So, I think I’m probably in better shape to win a general election than any other person on the Democratic ticket…  I think we’re living in a time right now that many Americans feel that democracy is rigged and that the election system is rigged.”

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Expertise and Experience:

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.