If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. runs for president as an independent, he could shore up a significant portion of the electorate to sway the 2024 election, according to a poll released on Thursday.
Kennedy has been campaigning as a Democrat since April, but stoked rumors that he will switch his party affiliation to independent on Monday in Pennsylvania. As an independent, Kennedy would steal votes from both former President Donald Trump and President Biden with 14% of the overall share, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey.
For a head-to-head matchup between Trump and Biden, both garnered 35% support, 11% chose someone else, 9% said they wouldn’t vote and 9% indicated they were unsure, according to the survey. In a three-way race with Kennedy garnering 14%, 33% supported Trump and 31% went for Biden, with 9% saying they wouldn’t vote and 13% were unsure. (RELATED: ‘Playing Spoiler’: Multiple Third-Party Candidates Could Spell Bad News For Biden In 2024)
Despite the Reuters/Ipsos survey, several Democratic and Republican strategists downplayed Kennedy’s impact as an independent on the presidential race to the Daily Caller, and instead warned that progressive presidential candidate Cornel West could have more of an impact on the 2024 election.
“Cornel West is a much bigger threat than RFK Jr. largely because black voters are the biggest part of the Democratic base and have been for years, particularly black women. And so a black candidate is naturally going to pull more black votes than a White candidate like RFK Jr.,” GOP consultant Mark Weaver told the Daily Caller.
An early August Emerson College survey indicated that West would impact the election in the battleground state of Michigan, with his candidacy helping Trump beat Biden 43% to 41%. Another poll yielded similar results nationwide, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, which lifted Trump’s margin of victory to 5 points over Biden.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,005 individuals nationwide from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4 with a margin of error of 4%.
Kennedy, Biden and Trump did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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