by Ben Whedon
Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has emerged as a formidable, and potentially race-defining, contender in the 2024 presidential contest.
In a hypothetical three-way contest between himself, former President Donald Trump, and President Joe Biden, Kennedy earned 22% support in the latest Quinnipiac survey. Biden and Trump earned 39% and 36%, respectively. Kennedy led with independent voters with 36%, while Trump placed second with 31%, and 30% backed Biden.
Kennedy launched his independent campaign in October of this year after previously challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination, citing his frustrations with the Democratic National Committee’s handling of the primary process.
Complicating matters is the independent candidacy of intellectual Cornel West, whose inclusion results in lower support for all three. In a four-way race, Biden led with 36%, Trump placed second with 35%, Kennedy earned 19%, and West earned 6%. Kennedy remained the favorite with independents in that scenario, earning 33%, while Trump took 30%, Biden 27%, and West 8%.
Driving much of Kennedy’s appeal are minority and younger voters.
“With minority and younger voters seeming intrigued, Kennedy, for now, enjoys the kind of demographic support his charismatic father and uncles generated decades ago,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.
Conducted Oct. 26-30, the survey questioned 1,610 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4%.
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