A recent survey conducted by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll has revealed some interesting insights into the effect of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s decision to run as an independent candidate in the upcoming presidential election. In a head-to-head matchup between President Biden and former President Donald Trump, Biden was leading with 49 percent of the vote, while Trump trailed behind at 46 percent, with 5 percent undecided.
However, when Kennedy was added to the mix, Biden’s support dropped to 44 percent, and Trump’s support fell even further to 37 percent. Surprisingly, RFK Jr. managed to garner the support of 16 percent of registered voters, with 3 percent remaining undecided. Among independent voters, 34 percent expressed their support for Trump, 33 percent favored Biden, and 29 percent backed Kennedy. This shows that there is a significant portion of the electorate who are seeking an alternative option, especially among independents.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 18, 2023
The director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, Lee M. Miringoff, commented on the impact of a third-party candidate, stating that Kennedy’s entrance into the race currently benefits Biden. While assessing the impact of a third-party candidate is always tricky, it is clear that Kennedy is changing the dynamics of the race, particularly in favor of Biden and his agenda. This highlights the fact that a substantial number of voters are looking for an alternative to the two major parties.
The survey, which involved 1,218 registered voters, was conducted on October 11 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent. In a recent podcast interview, RFK Jr. openly admitted that his intention is to “spoil” the election for both Trump and Biden. However, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was quick to criticize Kennedy’s candidacy, reminding voters that a Democrat in independent clothing is still a Democrat. McDaniel emphasized Kennedy’s liberal endorsements, including Hillary Clinton, his support for the Green New Deal, opposition to the Keystone Pipeline, and praise for AOC’s tax hikes. According to McDaniel, American families deserve a leader who prioritizes common sense, energy independence, border security, and getting the country back on track – qualities that she believes can only be found in the Republican nominee.