Speculation is mounting that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., scion of the iconic Kennedy political dynasty, may be contemplating a departure from the Democratic Party, which could have major implications for President Joe Biden’s reelection bid in 2024.
The speculation gained momentum after Kennedy was questioned by a voter during a recent town hall event in North Charleston, South Carolina. When asked if he would consider launching an independent campaign for the presidency, Kennedy, while expressing his commitment to the Democratic Party, did not rule out the possibility, stating, “They’re trying to make sure that I can’t participate at all in the political process, and so I’m going to keep all my options open.”
Democrats are growing increasingly concerned that the emergence of a third-party candidate in the general election could siphon votes away from President Biden, who is grappling with low approval ratings. This concern echoes previous worries expressed when Cornel West announced his intention to run as a Green Party candidate. As Biden finds himself in a neck-and-neck race with the leading Republican contender, former President Donald Trump, in hypothetical matchups, political consultants are emphasizing the risks involved.
“The last thing Biden needs is Robert Kennedy Jr. running on the Libertarian line,” political consultant Jay Townsend told Newsweek. “Nothing good will come of that for Biden.”
A poll released last week revealed that one-third of Democrats would consider voting for Kennedy if he were to run as an independent, marking a notable increase from the 25 percent who indicated they would support him in the party primaries. A spokesperson for Kennedy’s campaign stressed the significance of a competitive primary election, stating, “The fact that President Biden is so unpopular that fully a third of Democrats would vote for an independent candidate in the general election underscores the importance of running a fair and competitive primary election.”
Acknowledging the potential impact of a third-party challenger, a close ally of President Biden told NBC News, “With a tight election, every vote counts. Is it in the back of many people’s brains? Absolutely. Do we have to be careful as we move out? Yes, we do.”
Recent surveys have indicated a growing dissatisfaction among Americans with their choice of candidates. A September study by the Pew Research Center found that 3-in-10 Americans hold unfavorable views of both the Democratic and Republican parties, with 63 percent expressing dissatisfaction with the presidential candidates presented thus far. A significant 37 percent of respondents expressed a desire for more diverse party options.
Amidst this backdrop, over 15,000 individuals in Arizona have registered to join No Labels, a nascent political party that is considering a bipartisan ticket to challenge both Biden and Trump. While the number of registered voters may be relatively small, it remains substantial enough to potentially disrupt the presidential election in this crucial battleground state.
Kennedy has announced that he will make a decision on the possibility of running as an independent before October 15, adding further intrigue to the evolving political landscape leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)