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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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How could RFK Jr. impact 2024 election?

Apr 26

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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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Many Americans speculated about how a potential RFK, Jr. campaign might impact the 2024 elections. While RFK is neither a Democrat nor a Republican, many of his positions favor Donald Trump’s base over Joe Biden’s, particularly his various conspiracy theories on a wide range of subjects.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan says that GOP members cannot win any election if they become even more divided — that is, if they divide themselves between Trump and RFK. As it is, Zeihan adds, Trump will already need to win over true independents in order to win. Zeihan concludes that an independent RFK campaign might actually be worse for Trump than it would be for Biden.

The following is an excerpt from Peter’s April 26 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Most of you have seen my previous video outlining how I see the 2024 U.S. presidential election playing out… click here if you need a refresher or if you haven’t seen that yet.

RFK II has a presidential name, but I don’t think he’ll be finding himself in that position this go around. However, he does have the opportunity to cause some problems for Trump in the process.

Donald Trump has created enough challenges for himself by dividing the Republican party and alienating independents, but RFK Jr. might be able to add one more challenge to Trump’s campaign. We all know the conspiracy theorist wackadoos love Trump, but RFK Jr. is catching the eyes of some of the crazies.

While this group isn’t going to win either of these candidates a seat in the oval office, there’s potential for some of Trump’s strongholds to be split with RFK Jr. The impact to President Biden will be fairly limited, as the remainder of those bearing the Kennedy name support the current president.

Hey everybody, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Colorado. Today, we are going to take another entry from the ask Peter forum that specifically regards the election, specifically about Robert Kennedy, Jr. And whether his entrance into the race is going to cost Biden a potential victory. Let’s start by giving you the quick and dirty of where I see this election going. Number one, Donald Trump has broke the unity of the Republican Party, there are fewer Republicans than Democrats at any given time. And so if the Republicans don’t have unity, it’s almost impossible for them to win the general election. And so if you have a situation where maybe upwards of a third of registered Republicans are just like not interested in this guy, it’s almost impossible to envision a scenario where Trump can walk away with a victory. The second problem was with the independence, I’m talking about the real independence. So in the American political system, about 25 to 30%, ish of the population are hardcore Democrats, or hardcore Republicans, and then another 15 to 20% on each side, say that they’re independent, but they really vote either republican or democrat over 90% of the time, so they’re really not independent. That just leaves the 10% in the middle. And one of the reasons one of the many reasons why no American political pool pull ever taken before the political conventions has ever been right, is because when you call a real independent before the conventions, they just hang up on you. So ignore all the polls that are out there right now. Anyway, in the midterm elections, which everyone seems to have forgotten two years ago, Trump back candidates were gutted by real independence, and very few of them won at all. Donald Trump has basically told the independents that the only vote that matters is the primaries, not the general and since the general is the only place where the independents have a voice, they broadly turned against Trump, or at least they had his as of two years ago, we’ll see what happens this time around. Well, here’s the problem. There are fewer Republicans than Democrats. So not only would trump have to carry the Republicans challenge, he also has to carry the independents who he’s deeply offended in many levels. So unless something changes significantly, there isn’t a road to victory here for Trump. The question, of course, is whether or not RFK will shake that up a little bit. And I think it will, but probably not in the way that people are thinking. First of all, people liked the idea of the name Kennedy, if you’re on the left, if you’re a Democrat, because of you know, John Kennedy, and all that good stuff. The problem here is his own family has disowned him on this topic. It was just in early April that a dozen prominent Kennedy members, including former legislators, including his half a dozen of RFK, Jr, his own siblings, showed up to campaign for Biden and campaign against their own family member. He’s definitely the black sheep of the family. He is how do they put it loved but not liked. And so it’s really hard for me to see any classical Democrats going with him just because the name, especially when the name is campaigning against him. The second issue, of course, comes back to independence because they are where a lot of this electoral cycle will be decided. And if you are a true independent, one of those 10%, somebody like me, and you are looking at who is on the ballot, Trump and Biden again, you’re like, ah, somebody give me another choice. And I can see that argument for twisting a few things in places where the margin is small. The problem is, is that this guy’s not much better. People like to say that, you know, we’ve got 280 year olds running and whoever wins on their first day, and this coming term will be the oldest president to set foot in the White House, and that is true, other octogenarians, but RFK, Jr. is a septuagenarian so it’s not like he’s like the young chicken coming in from the side. I mean, this is no John Kennedy. Which brings us to the third possibility that it could affect things on the Republican side. And I think that is far more realistic. The defining characteristic about RFK Jr is not that he’s a womanizer and a drug addict, or Kennedy said he’s a conspiracy theorist. And if there is a conspiracy theory out there that involves vaccines, or diseases, or the Chinese or the Jews, or Slinkys, or jello or the moon he’s in. In fact, the Russian bot farm has made a habit whenever they make up something fresh, they tag him because they know he’s going to shout it from the rooftops. The problem here for Trump is the Trump thought he had quartered the batshit crazy vote, and now it’s going to be split. So there are some places that we had kind of penciled in that were locked in red for this upcoming election that might actually be in play. Because the core group that Donald Trump has courted to ride himself to power are the populace and that’s the part of the country that tends to go for these conspiracy theories the most. So we might see some of the strongest supporters and some of the strongest counties and precincts actually flipping towards RFK a little bit. And that would be more than enough to add to the other factors to make sure that Donald Trump doesn’t get back into the White House. Weather of course that makes you jump for joy, or crying your Malc depends upon where you stand.

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