New Poll Reveals Whether RFK Jr. Hurts Trump, Biden's Chances More

By Jason Hall

April 22, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is actually hindering former President Donald Trump's support more than President Joe Biden's, according to the latest NBC News poll released on Sunday (April 21).

Trump leads Biden by a 46% to 44% margin in a head-to-head matchup, however, Biden (39%) leads Trump (37%), Kennedy (13%), Jill Stein (3%) and Cornel West (2%) when all candidates are considered to be options. Additionally, 15% of respondents who picked Trump in the initial head-to-head poll instead chose Kennedy in the five-way ballot, while 7% who initially picked Biden instead chose Kennedy in the expanded poll.

The data conflicts with recent reports of Kennedy's campaign intending to spoil Biden's chances of re-election. Earlier this month, Rita Palma, who identified herself as the New York state director for Kennedy's campaign and having voted for Trump during each of his past two presidential campaigns, claimed that efforts for Kennedy's inclusion were to hinder Biden and that her "No. 1 priority" was to aid in Trump winning his historically Democratic birth state in a leaded video.

“The only way that Trump can even, remote possibility of taking New York is if Bobby is on the ballot. If it’s Trump vs. Biden, Biden wins. Biden wins six days, seven days a week. With Bobby in the mix, anything can happen,” Palma said in a video captured during her meeting with Republicans in New York, which was viewed by CNN on Monday (April 8).

“The only way for him, for Bobby, to shake it up and to get rid of Biden is if he’s on the ballot in every state, including New York,” she added.

Palma's comments followed public criticism from Kennedy's siblings regarding the motive of his campaign. Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy said she's concerned that her brother's campaign will siphon enough votes from Biden to help elect Trump during an appearance on ABC's 'Good Morning America' on April 1.

“My biggest concern with Bobby’s run is that he is going to take votes away from Biden, and I think this election is going to come down to a handful of votes in a handful of states,” Rory said. “And I am concerned that voting for Bobby is going to take votes away from Biden and lead to a Trump election. And I’m very concerned what that will do to our country and to the world over the ensuing four years.”

Rory had previously joined her siblings Kerry Kennedy, Hon. Joseph P. Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to condemn their brother's presidential candidacy.

“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” the children of Robert F. Kennedy Sr. said in a joint statement shared on October 9, 2023. “Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and vocal vaccine skeptic, was reported to have taken votes away from Biden in the Democratic presidential primary before switching his party affiliation to independent.

“He is Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, not mine,” Trump previously wrote on his Truth Social account after Kennedy announced Silicon Valley lawyer and former Democrat Nicole Shanahan would be his running mate.

“I love that he is running!” Trump wrote. “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. I guess this would mean he is going to be taking votes from Crooked Joe Biden, which would be a great service to America."

“His 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,” Trump added at the time.

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