Could RFK Jr. switching to an Independent bring a real change to the 2024 election?

October 10 – Yesterday, Democratic candidate for president in 2024, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., announced that he is changing his party affiliation to Independent.

The Kennedy name has been synonymous with Democrats for decades – so much so that some members of the family have publicly announced their upset at the news.

Could the shift spell trouble for Joe Biden and/or Donald Trump in next November’s election?

The internal polling for Trump has shown a Kennedy run could hurt him.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Trump immediately attacked RFK yesterday, calling him crazy, pointing out a lot of his liberal positions over the years on things, which to me is the signal that Trump doesn’t want this guy in the race. Remember leading up to yesterday, even though RFK was running as a Democrat, he was getting really favorable coverage from conservative press. Tucker Carlson hosted him on his internet show. Steve Bannon loves RFK. Joe Rogan, they gave him the three-hour podcast treatment and RFK has seemingly built a lot of support among Republicans largely related to his anti-vaccine positions. He also was invited to speak at CPAC in a few weeks when they met in Colorado. So the thinking is that there’s this faction of Independents and Republicans that aren’t quite on board with Trump, but they don’t want to vote for Biden either and now RFK could become their guy. I still don’t see him pulling off this race. He’s not going to win. But these races are so close. We’re in a 50/50 country.”

Being that close, even getting 10 percent of the vote could be enough to make a difference.

Barkdoll continued, “Leading up to yesterday’s announcement, he was polling around 15 to 18 percent in the Democratic primary. Of course by switching parties now, he won’t go through any primary. He would just go right on to the fall ballot as an Independent candidate.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I’m just a little bit annoyed at some Republicans who think this is the guy you want to vote for because he has a lot of liberal policies that he advocates, like the government controlling minimum wage and restricting natural gas exports. He’s a greeniac, too, so he is not the person that I think some people think he is just by some of the things that have been highlighted about him recently. Because he seems to be in line with Republicans on the vaccine mandates and things like that. He’s also pointing out corruption in Washington DC and I think we should hear more of that from more candidates, but he’s not a conservative and yet CPAC invited him. So that’s going to muddy the waters even more for a lot of people who think, well, I don’t like either of the front runners. Here’s maybe another choice.”

Barkdoll added, “Trump was very praising of this guy over the last few months. There was even talk could RFK be on a presidential ticket with Donald Trump? But now that he’s running as an Independent, it clearly poses a threat politically to Trump. You take a step back and look at the arc of RFK, his career, very liberal positions on any number of issues. It’s also really difficult and really expensive for an Independent to get on 50 state ballots. There’s some doubt whether he can even pull that off, but he’s not going anywhere. As we’ve seen over the years, Ross Perot is the main one that comes to mind who arguably tipped the elections in ’92 and ‘96 to Bill Clinton. Ralph Nader in 2000, arguably cost Al Gore the election and tipped it to George W. Bush in Florida. The point being that it doesn’t take a lot of votes, a third party candidate, even if they peeled off just a few percent of the votes, you get a state like Florida or Pennsylvania or Michigan, where you’re in basically a 50/50 scenario, that third party candidate really could sway the election.”