Photo above: Robert Kennedy Jr. candidate for President
Insurrection, mean tweets, name calling, male chauvinist recordings, little rocket man, crooked Hillary, Sleepy Joe, etc. Trump is a piece of work; he gets things done but he is a major piece of work. He was deeply unpopular and has been indicted, god only knows how many times, since he started running again. How can he possibly be winning an election against Joe Biden?
The only way Trump wins a second term is to “rank the race up” like he did with Hillary. Enter RFK Jr. Robert Kennedy. He will do exactly that, and he has already begun too.
While most will tell me that RFK has no chance of winning (they are correct by the way), he will be playing spoiler. RFK has only one challenge, getting on the ballot in each state. Democrats like they usually do are very aggressive at filing lawsuits/challenges to keep the Green Party off ballots in states that are “swing” in nature. Think Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The Democrats are also smart knowing full well the Kennedy name will pull pretty good numbers depending on what state he runs in. RFK is pulling about 15% nationwide, so he has a large draw, and will be invited to all 3 required debates for the general election.
More on that later, but RFK definitely “ranks up” a race where neither candidate is at or near 50%.
Neither candidate is popular. Make no mistake Joe Biden is viewed as too old, by a very large majority. He also is facing a very shaky situation globally with the Middle East and Ukraine being massive problems and the potential of China being one as well. At home interest rates on debt are high. Couple that with a slowing economy, high inflation, and constant shortages/strikes. Taken together, Biden is in trouble. He has no issues to sell the voters on except “he isn’t Trump.” Trump on the other hand is the Republican version of Hillary Clinton. No Democrat will stay at home and watch him get elected. They hate his guts. Turnout for the Democrats will not be a problem. It’s who they vote for that will be. Biden is likely a soft 48% in a two-person race, but closer to 40% with RFK in.
Trump, for all his flaws, as we see moving forward still has a “base/floor” of about 46% in a 2-person race, and in a hypothetical 3-way race with RFK, he is about 42%. These numbers haven’t and will not move. No one will be moved to vote for Trump, short of RFK being disqualified due to dubious reasons, just like most will not be moved to vote against him rather than for him. He is just too polarizing. Joe Biden is the opposite. His support is just Trump haters, and soft-shell Republicans who can’t stand him, think Romney, Lincoln Project types etc.
Here is where RFK causes a Democrat headache.
RFK is staunchly anti-vax which gives him popularity with the far-right crowd; however, his support for Reparations is a big turn off to that group. While I do not see black folks voting for RFK in droves, I could see him peel off of about 5-6% in certain states. Just look at the math. Take the 2020 election, and in every state, minus let’s say 2% from Trump totals, and minus about 5% from Sleepy Joe. Now check out what the result would be. Sure, in big Democrat states, CA, IL, WA, NY etc. it doesn’t make a difference, but I’m not talking about those states. Check out Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania. A close race gets not so close. I know that 2 plus 5 equals 7% not 5-6% but understand Biden has very high support in the big blue states, not in the flyover ones. Such a depressed turn-out for Biden also puts these races outside the margin of lawyers.
The final point on this is the cognitive issue. Very obvious Joe isn’t all the way there; mentally. If you can’t see it there may be no saving you. Trump is a wild card, but he is definitely 100% in control of his cognition. RFK is fine mentally, he is just a wild conspiracy theorist. If you agree with Joe politically, but he appears lost in a debate, or at a rally, or interview, you are more likely to not vote or change to RFK. If you are a Trump supporter, it doesn’t matter, you’re voting for him anyways.
Trump knows he only wins in a 3-man race. Hence, he is on to the general and with him vs RFK vs Biden. In this scenario, Trump can and will win.
Editor’s Note: Right after getting this post from The Chief, Senator Joe Machin (photo below) announced that he would not be running for reelection. Machin has long been rumored as a possible third-party candidate for President. Would a Kennedy-Machin ticket be lethal for Joe Biden?