LOL! Polls Show RFK Jr Taking Votes From Trump

Two new high-quality polls suggest an electoral dagger could be coming for Donald Trump—if their findings persist. Both polls, from Marist College and NBC News, show third-party candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. siphoning more support away from Trump than President Joe Biden.

The potential emerging trend was first spotted by The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake.

In the NBC poll, Biden trailed Trump by 2 points in the head-to-head matchup, 44% to 46%. But when the survey was expanded to include RFK Jr., Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Harvard professor Cornel West, Biden notched a 2-point lead over Trump.

  • Biden: 39%.

  • Trump: 37%. 

  • Kennedy: 13%. 

  • Jill Stein: 3%.  

  • Cornel West: 2%.

The disparity in outcomes is mainly driven by RFK Jr., who picks up 15% of Trump’s support in the head-to-head while attracting only 7% of Biden’s original voters.

Republican voters also hold a far more favorable view of Kennedy than Democratic voters do, according to the NBC poll. While a 40% plurality of GOP voters view Kennedy positively, he is 37 points underwater with Democrats at 16% positive vs. 53% negative.

The Marist poll shows the third-party candidates capturing a very similar amount of the electorate, with Kennedy at14%, Stein at 2%, and West at 2%. But Kennedy’s impact on Trump is slightly less pronounced, pulling only 6 more points away from him than Biden (vs. 8 points in the NBC poll): 17% of Trump voters threw their support behind Kennedy in this poll, compared to 11% of Biden voters. 

The Marist poll, however, puts Biden ahead of Trump in the two-way race, at 51% to 48%, and favors Biden by 5 points in a multi-candidate field, 43% to 38%. 

RFK Jr. potentially hurting Trump more than Biden with the electorate would be a significant development. While credible pollsters are just now starting to seriously weigh the possible impact of third-party candidates in the 2024 outcomes, some previous polling had suggested Kennedy’s candidacy might be a bigger drag on Biden.  

Last week, Biden and his allies kick-started an effort to dampen any Democratic enthusiasm for RFK Jr. A sizable cohort of the storied Kennedy family not only endorsed Biden, they also cut a 30-second ad likening the president to Junior’s father Robert F. Kennedy, and painting Biden as the true heir of the Kennedy legacy. 

Trump, who has fallen several points short of reaching 50% of the vote in two consecutive presidential cycles, needs third-party candidates to help him cut into Biden’s 51% winning coalition from 2020. But as we noted last week, it’s also plausible that RFK Jr. could be turned into a millstone around Trump’s neck if the anti-vaxxer insurgent draws significantly more voters away from Trump than Biden. 

It remains to be seen if the Trump campaign and the GOP can match the concerted effort being made by the Biden camp and Democrats to deter their own voters from defecting to RFK Jr. in November. 

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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