Is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. considering a party affiliation switch? A super PAC supporting RFK Jr. has begun polling the candidate’s support as an Independent, strongly suggesting he may be considering a pivot out of the Democratic Party.
“The poll, conducted by the firm John Zogby Strategies and commissioned by the American Values 2024 PAC, comes amid growing speculation – fueled by Kennedy himself – that he will leave the Democratic Party in the upcoming weeks,” POLITICO reported.
The poll’s findings
Perhaps the most curious findings from the PAC’s poll was that if Kennedy switches to Independent, he would draw more support away from the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump, than from the presumptive Democratic nominee, President Joe Biden.
“All told, the poll shows that in a general election between Trump, Biden and a generic “independent candidate,” the result is Trump at 40 percent, Biden at 38 percent and the independent candidate at 17 percent,” POLITICO reported. Yet, “in a matchup between Trump, Biden and “Robert F. Kennedy Jr..” as the independent candidate, the result is Trump and Biden tied at 38 percent with Kennedy at 19 percent,” suggesting that RFK as an independent could help level the playing field for Biden.
The numbers cut against the assumption held amongst Democrats that an Independent RFK candidacy would undermine Biden’s efforts at reelection.
“The opposite is true,” RFK’s campaign said in a press release. “Kennedy is taking more votes from Trump than from Biden.”
Of course, RFK Jr. is still a Democrat. Yet RFK has teased some mysterious big announcement, for October 9th. Could the announcement be a switch from the Democratic Party to Independent candidate? It’s certainly possible. So far, RFK has been polling around 14 percent in the Democratic primary, against author Marianne Williamson and Biden, in a race that is all but decided for Biden.
RFK Raising Money
RFK has had success raising funds, despite being a relatively marginalized candidate in a primary that Biden is expected to win handily. “Both the campaign and super PAC supporting Kennedy have also found fundraising successes,” POLITICO reported. “Earlier this month, an Eric Clapton rock concert raised more than $2 million that was split between the campaign and the PAC.” The newly raised funds are in addition to the $6 million that American Values raised in July – the vast majority of which came on the day that RFK Jr. testified before Congress on censorship.
The fundraising numbers, and the polling numbers, suggest that the general public is receptive to RFK Jr.’s candidacy. Part of the receptivity is no doubt an outgrowth of dissatisfaction with President Biden; voters are hungry for an alternative to Biden, who is perceived as too old to run for a second term and was never all that popular to begin with. Another part of the receptivity relates to RFK Jr.’s messaging, which the mainstream has dismissed as conspiracy oriented. Conspiracy or not, an increasing portion of the population is interested in RFK Jr.’s messaging, which is most commonly associated with vaccine skepticism.
If RFK Jr. runs as an independent, he’s not going to win the election. That’s not within the realm of possibility. But he seems poised to have an influence on who does win.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.