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Biden camp sets sights on RFK Jr. as some polling suggests he could hand race to Trump

Perot, Nader, now RFK? Some polls are indicating that RFK may, like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, siphon enough votes away to change the election outcome.

Published: March 28, 2024 11:00pm

President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have turned their attacks toward independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. amid polling data suggesting his candidacy could draw more votes from the Democratic incumbent than from former President Donald Trump and hand the race to the ex-commander-in-chief.

A Quinnipiac University survey released this week showed Biden leading Trump 48% to 45% in a hypothetical two-way matchup. Should the race include third-party candidates, however, such as Kennedy, the Green Party's Jill Stein, and independent Cornel West, Trump would become the narrow favorite. In that scenario, Trump garnered 39% support to Biden's 38%, with Kennedy, Stein, and West drawing 13%, 4%, and 3%, respectively. The poll comes with a caveat that "There is no clear leader in either of these matchups because the leads are within the margin of error."

The data appears to suggest that Kennedy could prove to be a spoiler against a Biden win and Kennedy's recent choice of vice president, Nicole Shanahan, has many political figures viewing his campaign as a more progressive effort. Shanahan, the ex-wife of Google cofounder Sergey Brin, has a long history of donating to progressive politicians.

Democrats, for their part, are discernably worried that Kennedy and Shanahan's potential pull with the left-wing of their party could undercut Biden's bid and that the Republicans could seek to bolster his campaign in some capacity.

"We know the GOP is already working to prop up third-party candidates like Robert Kennedy Jr. to make them stalking horses for Donald Trump," Democratic National Committee spokesman Matt Corridoni told Axios earlier this week.

A DNC press call on Tuesday night saw major figures in the party express concerns the ticket could prove a spoiler, with some going as far as to call the bid "disgusting," ABC News reported.

"There is absolutely no path for Kennedy to become president and he knows that," said Democratic Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow. "That is why he picked a VP who can fund -- who can buy his way onto the ballot in a number of state[s]... First of all, that's disgusting and an abuse of our democracy. Second, that means that him being in the race means that there is a greater likelihood that Donald Trump will become president again."

"All he can do is take away votes from President Biden and make it easier for Donald Trump to win. And we simply can't afford to let that happen," Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. Austin Davis also said on the call.

Trump, for his part, deemed the selection a boon to his own campaign and characterized both members of the Kennedy ticket as radical, left-wing politicians.

"RFK Jr. is the most Radical Left Candidate in the race, by far. He's a big fan of the Green New Scam, and other economy killing disasters," Trump posted on Truth Social. "I guess this would mean he is going to be taking votes from Crooked Joe Biden, which would be a great service to America."

Trump further posted that "[h]is running mate, Nicole Shanahan, is even more 'Liberal' than him, if that’s possible. Kennedy is a Radical Left Democrat, and always will be!!! It's great for MAGA, but the Communists will make it very hard for him to get on the Ballot. Expect him, and her, to be indicted any day now, probably for Environmental Fraud! He is Crooked Joe Biden's Political Opponent, not mine. I love that he is running!" He provided no factual basis for his "environmental fraud allegations."

Tech mogul Vivek Ramaswamy concurred with that sentiment during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News, saying his candidacy "should take votes away from the Democrats. And this should be a good development, not only for President Trump, but I believe it for this country."

"And if RFK being in this race helps [Trump win], you know what, I think that could be a good thing for this country," he added.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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