Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk suggested on his show last week that the reports about panic from Democrats over an independent Kennedy run are a “strategy” to conceal the threat that Kennedy would pose to the Republican Party.
“Far more of the ‘I don’t trust the government’ brigade would vote for RFK Jr. if he were run as a Libertarian,” Kirk said, adding that “Libertarians being on the ballot almost always hurt Republicans.”
Kennedy, a candidate running for the Democratic nomination thus far, is expected to drop his challenge to Biden on October 9 and launch an independent bid instead. Despite being the closest Democratic threat to Biden and garnering double-digit support, Kennedy trails Biden by 50 points, multiple polls show.
Democrats have feared that should Kennedy run as an independent, the shakeup could deal a blow to the president in a Biden-Trump rematch, where Kennedy could take more centrist votes from Biden and further weaken a Biden advantage over Trump.
But a super political action committee (PAC) supporting Kennedy countered projections that anticipate an independent run would be a victory for Trump’s campaign, saying in a Monday press release that, “The opposite is true. Kennedy is taking more votes from Trump than from Biden.”
A poll conducted by the American Values 2024 PAC found that in a general election between Trump, Biden and a generic “independent candidate,” Trump would come out on top with 40 percent, Biden lagging behind at 38 percent and the independent candidate down at 17 percent. But, if the race were to be Trump, Biden and Kennedy, Kennedy would see 19 percent support and leave Trump and Biden tied at 38 percent.
“RFK cant win but he can deny Trump the White House and hand it to Dems,” far-right activist Jack Posobiec wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum also argued to her colleagues that Kennedy “has a lot of support among [Joe] Rogan listeners, Jordan Peterson listeners, and what he’s talking about in this video is that there has to be a different path.”
“He has a lot of people, young people, very interested in what he’s saying,” she said.
In a Monday tweet, Kirk posted an interview of Kennedy in which the presidential candidate says, “I take more votes from President Trump than I do from President Biden.”
“I know people will disagree on whether or how much RFK running 3rd party hurts Trump,” political commentator Rogan O’Handley, also known as DC Draino, wrote on X. “I think we can all agree one 1 thing though – it’s time to stop highlighting RFK’s positives (I am guilty of that and take accountability) and start amplifying his negatives.”
“His favorables are way too high, especially among conservatives,” O’Handley said. “People need to be reminded that he’s a pro-choice, pro-climate change, anti-gun Leftist.”
But others disagreed, saying that the idea that Kennedy running as an independent would be good for Biden and bad for Trump is false.
“Bannon & Co are spreading fake ‘studies’ showing that an RFK Jr third-party run wd help Biden & hurt Trump. If you buy that, I have a bridge to sell you, cheap,” attorney Laurence Tribe said on X.
“RFK Jr is a huge threat in 2024,” Tribe wrote in another post. “He’s backed by a massive and growing war chest and Cambridge Analytica on steroids. And he’s taking dead aim at the Biden/Harris ticket as a 3rd party spoiler. He could assure a Trump victory and the end of the republic.”