Joe Biden is under an impeachment inquiry, and likely challenger Donald Trump is facing what many call politically motivated indictments.
If the next Presidential contest wasn’t strange enough, RFK Jr. just made it more interesting.
That’s because Kennedy announced a divorce that is making everyone redo their polling numbers.
Robert F. Kennedy Junior has been disowned by his party.
Kennedy even contends that Joe Biden’s administration has been petty enough to deny him the same secret service protection that other aspiring politicians would receive in their campaigns.
Now he’s made an announcement that could create shockwaves in the Presidential contest.
Recent polling shows the potential rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump to be very close, with perhaps even a slight lead for Trump.
But that was under the assumption that the race would be more or less between two major party candidates.
That may no longer be true if Kennedy sees things through over the next 13 months.
Largely due to his party freezing him out of effectively being able to campaign, Kennedy announced that he is divorcing himself from the political party he and his family have been stalwarts of and will run as an independent.
RFK Jr. turns his back on Dems after they turn their backs on him
In a Monday announcement at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Kennedy proclaimed, “I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States. We declare independence from the cynical elites who betray our hope and who amplify our divisions. And finally, we declare independence from the two political parties.”
Yesterday I announced my exit from the Democratic Party to run as an independent candidate for President. Here is what that means:
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) October 10, 2023
The Kennedys have been loyal Democrats for decades but because the nomination process was skewed against him, RFK Jr. decided to become an independent candidate.
Biden’s maneuvering demonstrates this.
The new primary calendar adopted by the Democratic National Committee – at Biden’s request – downgraded Iowa and New Hampshire from their longstanding positions as the first major contests of the primary season.
Because of this change, Democrat candidates are prohibited from campaigning or even adding their names to the ballot in any state that refuses to adhere to the calendar.
This was doubtlessly done because the President’s support is anemic in those states.
Biden lost Iowa and New Hampshire by large margins in the 2020 primary contest on the Democrat side.
Biden was then saved when Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) enticed blacks to support him in the run-up to the Democrat primary contest in South Carolina.
Kennedy’s family isn’t happy with RFK Jr.’s decision.
Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in a joint statement, “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.”
In a close contest, Kennedy could make a huge difference
The real concern is that having both Kennedy and Biden on the ballot could throw the election to Donald Trump or another Republican.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos survey asked respondents, between Biden and Trump, whom they would vote for if the election was held tomorrow.
The front-runners tied, each receiving 35 percent.
That same poll showed Kennedy earned 14 percent, while Biden fell to 31 percent, and Trump dropped to 33 percent in a hypothetical three-way contest.
Of course, campaign events will matter, and it’s far too early to say over a year in advance how Kennedy’s presence in the race would ultimately shift votes, or even if he would stay through to the end if a victory looked unlikely, but there are sure to be interesting times ahead.