STASIDE STORIES: Independent Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Hurting Biden in the Poll

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaking at a campaign rally at Legends
Event Center, Phoenix, Arizona in December 2023
by Mary Foran

When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched his Independent presidential campaign in October, pundits thought he would hurt Trump more than Biden. But the opposite is true.

Original Robert F. Kennedy Jr for President logo

Kennedy revealed his vice-presidential pick on March 26, California tech entrepreneur and former Democrat donor, Nicole Shanahan.

Kennedy is officially on the ballot in Utah and has enough signatures to be on the ballot in Nevada, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, Arizona and Georgia.

After decamping from the Democratic Party to support RFK Jr’s presidential aspiration, multimillionaire Shanahan, who is now Kennedy’s running mate, donated $4 million for an ad at Super Bowl LVIII  held last February at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas (see photo).

Shanahan’s wealth could help Kennedy’s campaign. Also remotely possible is that Kennedy could pursue the presidential nomination for the Libertarian Party which would give him near-universal access to ballots while skewing his vote.

Historically, non-major-party candidates almost always lose support as the general election draws near and voters choose not to “waste their votes”.

Where he’s on the ballot and how he is polling will be of great continuing interest even though he might not become President of the United States like his uncle.

Trump’s civil fraud case bond was reduced to $175 million from $454 million by an appellate court judge in New York. Trump says he is “honored” to pay it.

Trump is still doing well in the polls for president in spite of the lawfare against him.

Video: The John F. Kennedy 1960 campaign ad that Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s Super Bowl 2024 commercial was based on*
Source: JFK Library via Wikipedia, PD

*On February 11, 2024, during Super Bowl LVIII, the American Values 2024 super PAC ran a 30-second television spot in support of [Robert F.] Kennedy [Jr.] consisting of an edited version of a John F. Kennedy spot from his 1960 campaign. The ad used the same jingle and motif, replacing John F. Kennedy’s images with those of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and replacing text that said “Vote Democratic” with “Vote Independent.” It was the only campaign advertisement which aired nationally during the game and reportedly cost US$7 million. Kennedy’s cousin, Bobby Shriver, criticized the advertisement for using the likeness of his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, whom he believed “would be appalled by [Kennedy Jr.’s] deadly health care views.” Kennedy subsequently issued an apology on Twitter, stating the ad was created without any involvement from his campaign. Kennedy’s account posted the advertisement and retweeted reactions to it before the apology was made.

Featured image/Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA2.0, Flickr
RFK Jr’s original campaign logo/PD, Wikimedia Commons
Allegiant Stadium/Amin Eshaiker, CC BY-SA4.0, Wikimedia Commons