Biden Has a Serious RFK Jr. Problem

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Who cares about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign right? It’s just another vanity campaign; he has no chance of winning the Democrat nomination, let alone the presidency.

Yes, all this is true, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a problem for Joe Biden. In fact, he’s a serious problem for Joe Biden, and the mainstream media can try all they want to pretend that isn’t the case, but it’s true. The Biden campaign can’t dismiss Kennedy’s admittedly doomed presidential campaign.

In April, a USA Today poll showed Kennedy with 14% support. A fluke? An aberration? An outlier? I’m sure that’s exactly what the Biden campaign thought at the time, but there have been three polls since then showing Kennedy is no fluke.

The first was an Emerson College poll. Sure, Biden had a formidable lead at 70%, but Kennedy had now reached 21%. Next was a Fox News poll and a Rasmussen poll, both showing Kennedy at 19%. That means that the findings from three different polls show Kennedy with roughly 20% support. Even Marianne Williamson has a 7% RealClearPolitics average — which is roughly what Kamala Harris was polling at this point in the 2020 primaries.

Kennedy, however, is polling roughly at the same range that Bernie Sanders was in the 2020 primaries, which suggests that Kennedy is polling at a range high enough to have sticking power. Does that mean that Kennedy could potentially overcome Biden in the primaries? I certainly would not bet on that. Incumbent presidents rarely encounter substantial competition during the primaries.

The most notable example of this happening is Kennedy’s uncle, the late Ted Kennedy, who challenged President Jimmy Carter in 1980, who, like Biden, was an unpopular and incompetent incumbent. Carter may have ultimately won the nomination but got shellacked in the general election against Ronald Reagan. He may have been shellacked regardless, but at this point, if I were in the Biden campaign, I’d be a bit nervous.

Again, let’s not pretend that Kennedy has any serious shot at the Democrat nomination, let alone the presidency. That said, Joe Biden won’t get the automatic coronation in 2024 that he was expecting. Will RFK Jr. do as well in the primary elections as Bernie Sanders did in 2020 or even 2016? Most likely not, thanks to the power of incumbency. But it makes Kennedy hard to ignore and vital to please.

As a rogue candidate, there’s nothing that could stop Kennedy from launching an independent bid for the presidency if he feels like he’s not getting a fair shake from the Democrats to participate in the process… which it’s quite obvious that he won’t. An independent bid from Kennedy could be devastating for Biden in the general election — especially in states where his certified margin of victory was only a handful of votes in 2020.

Let’s face it: polls have consistently shown that Democrat voters wanted an alternative to Joe Biden. They want someone younger, stronger, and more mentally competent. And who could blame them? While it may not be Robert F. Kennedy Jr. whom they specifically had in mind, it’s evident from his polling that the hunger for someone other than Biden is very real. And a candidate willing to go rogue by challenging a sitting president in a primary won’t easily fade into the background, particularly when he is polling at 20%.


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