RFK Jr. runs for president as independent, challenging Biden and Trump

In a surprising move, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced on Monday that he will be running for president as a third-party candidate in the upcoming election. This decision breaks from the tradition of the Kennedy political dynasty's allegiance to the Democratic Party and poses a challenge to both the Trump and Biden campaigns.

Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer, made the announcement in Philadelphia, stating that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination and will instead run as an independent. He acknowledged that this decision was not taken lightly, as it meant letting go of the Democratic Party that his family has long been associated with.

Throughout his campaign, Kennedy Jr. has been critical of both major parties, accusing their leaders of corruption and claiming that the Democratic National Committee rigged the primary election. While his candidacy is seen as a longshot, his polling figures show historically high support for a third-party candidate. This could potentially siphon votes from both the Democratic and Republican nominees.

In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, 14% of voters expressed their support for Kennedy Jr. in a hypothetical general election matchup against Biden and Trump. Interestingly, while some surveys show that Kennedy Jr.'s favorability rating is higher among Republicans than Democrats, the Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests that his third-party bid could hurt Biden more.

It is worth noting that Kennedy Jr. has a history of spreading conspiracy theories, particularly regarding vaccines and Covid-19. While these views have garnered support from some prominent Republicans and party donors, they have also been disavowed by members of his own family. Kennedy Jr. has faced controversy and was even temporarily banned from Instagram for violating its Covid-19 misinformation policies.

Kennedy Jr.'s decision to run as a third-party candidate adds an interesting dynamic to the upcoming election. Alongside left-wing academic Cornel West, who recently dropped his Green Party bid, Kennedy Jr. will be one of at least four candidates on the general election ballot in some states. As the election season progresses, it will be interesting to see how Kennedy Jr.'s candidacy impacts the race and whether he can gain traction against the two major parties.


More from Press Rundown