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U.S. Elections

RFK Jr. gains on ballot access, poll shows third-party impact on election

May 15

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the first third-party candidate in decades to pull in significant support in the polls. But which camp is he drawing the most support from? Is it Donald Trump or Joe Biden who has more to lose if Kennedy is able to get on state ballots?

Media headlines addressing the question are conflicting.

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The New York Post: “RFK Jr. says he has enough signatures to make Texas ballot, potentially hurting Trump.”

NBC News: “RFK Jr. candidacy hurts Trump more than Biden, NBC News poll finds.”

Forbes: “RFK Jr. Pulls Support From These Key Biden Groups—And Could Sway Election Outcome, New Poll Shows.”

Politico: “How Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Could Doom Joe Biden.”

According to the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Siena College Poll, RFK Jr. is pulling in roughly 10% of the vote across six battleground states.

Kennedy is pulling from Trump’s base by a near 2-1 margin, according to the poll. The data also indicates Trump still holds a slight lead over Biden even when accounting for the impact of Kennedy’s name on the ballot.

Here’s a few key findings from the recent poll.

Of the respondents, 44% who said they’d vote for Kennedy are doing so only to vote against Trump and Biden.

Kennedy is polling best among two demographics. He is polling at 18% of voters under the age of 30 and 14% of Hispanic voters. These two demographics typically vote for Democrats.

However, of the people polled who say they support RFK Jr., just 29% said that they are definitely voting for him in November, compared to about 80% of people who said they’re voting for Biden or Trump.

Whether voters will even have the option to vote RFK Jr. is still uncertain as of right now. Of the six battleground states, Kennedy has qualified for only the Michigan ballot so far.

Kennedy’s campaign announced it had more than doubled the required number of signatures on the petition to add his name to the ticket in Texas. His campaign claims it has secured access to the ballot in six states.

In the past, support for third-party candidates has decreased the closer voters get to November, according to The New York Times. Kennedy’s support is less than half of what it was in the Times’ poll from last fall and Election Day is still about six months away.

While the main focus of this election is the rematch between Biden and Trump, there is a chance Kennedy voters could have a major say in who the president is for the next four years given the impact he could potentially have in swing states, according to this latest poll data.

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KARAH RUCKER: THIS ELECTION CYCLE IS UNIQUE IN A LOT OF WAYS.

YOU’VE GOT BIDEN – THE OLDEST PRESIDENT EVER RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION.

YOU’VE GOT TRUMP – THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO FACE CRIMINAL TRIALS RUNNING FOR ANOTHER TERM.

THEN – YOU’VE GOT ROBERT F KENNEDY  JUNIOR. THE FIRST THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE IN DECADES TO PULL IN SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT IN THE POLLS.

THE QUESTION IS.

WHICH CAMP IS HE DRAWING THE MOST SUPPORT FROM? 

IS IT TRUMP OR BIDEN WHO HAS MORE TO LOSE IF KENNEDY IS ABLE TO GET ON STATE BALLOTS?

MEDIA HEADLINES – ARE CONFLICTING.

“RFK JUNIOR SAYS HE HAS ENOUGH SIGNATURES TO MAKE TEXAS BALLOT –

POTENTIALLY HURTING **TRUMP.”

“RFK JUNIOR CANDIDACY HURTS TRUMP MORE THAN BIDEN”.

“RFK JUNIOR PULLS SUPPORT FROM THESE KEY **BIDEN GROUPS – AND COULD SWAY ELECTION OUTCOME.”

“HOW ROBERT F KENNEDY JUNIOR COULD DOOM **JOE BIDEN.”

IS KENNEDY’S SUPPORT ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN WHO WINS THE ELECTION COME NOVEMBER?

ACCORDING TO A NEW “NEW YORK TIMES/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER/SIENA COLLEGE POLL”  –

IT IS.

RFK JUNIOR IS POLLING AT ROUGHLY 10 PERCENT ACROSS THESE SIX BATTLEGROUND STATES.

THE BAD NEWS FOR TRUMP IS – KENNEDY IS PULLING FROM TRUMP’S BASE BY A NEAR 2 TO 1 MARGIN – ACCORDING TO THE POLL.

BUT IT’S NOT ALL GOOD NEWS  FOR BIDEN —  THE DATA ALSO SUGGESTS – TRUMP STILL HOLDS A SLIGHT LEAD OVER BIDEN EVEN WHEN ACCOUNTING FOR THE IMPACT OF KENNEDY’S NAME ON THE BALLOT.

HERE’S A FEW KEY FINDINGS FROM THE RECENT POLL.

44% OF PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY’D VOTE FOR KENNEDY –

ARE DOING SO ONLY TO VOTE **AGAINST TRUMP AND BIDEN.

KENNEDY IS POLLING BEST AMONG TWO DEMOGRAPHICS.

18% OF YOUNG VOTERS UNDER THE AGE OF 30 ARE FOR RFK.

WHILE 14% OF HISPANIC VOTERS SAY THEY’RE FOR RFK.

TWO DEMOGRAPHICS THAT TYPICALLY VOTE DEMOCRATIC.

HOWEVER –

OF THE PEOPLE POLLED WHO SAY THEY SUPPORT RFK –

JUST 29% SAY THEY’RE *DEFINITELY* VOTING FOR HIM IN NOVEMBER –

COMPARED TO ABOUT 80% OF PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY’RE VOTING FOR BIDEN OR TRUMP.

WHETHER VOTERS WILL EVEN HAVE THE OPTION TO VOTE RFK JUNIOR –

IS STILL UNSURE RIGHT NOW.

OF THE SIX BATTLEGROUND STATES IN THE POLL WE SHOWED YOU EARLIER –

KENNEDY’S QUALIFIED FOR ONLY THE MICHIGAN BALLOT SO FAR.

THIS WEEK THE CAMPAIGN  ANNOUNCED HE HAD MORE THAN DOUBLED THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION TO ADD HIS NAME TO THE TICKET IN TEXAS.

KENNEDY’S CAMPAIGN SAYS IT HAS SECURED ACCESS TO THE BALLOT IN SIX STATES.

IN THE PAST – SUPPORT FOR THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES HAS DECREASED THE CLOSER WE GET TO NOVEMBER.

ALREADY – KENNEDY’S SUPPORT IS “LESS THAN HALF OF WHAT IT WAS” IN THE TIMES’ POLL FROM LAST FALL.

WE’RE STILL ABOUT SIX MONTHS AWAY FROM ELECTION DAY.

WHILE THE MAIN FOCUS IS ON THE REMATCH BETWEEN BIDEN AND TRUMP.

THERE IS A CHANCE KENNEDY VOTERS WHO COULD HAVE THE MAJOR  SAY IN WHO THE PRESIDENT IS FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS –

GIVEN THE IMPACT HE COULD POTENTIALLY HAVE IN SWING STATES.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

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