The leftist media have put the son of Bobby Kennedy on extinction. They ignore him at all costs or make herculean efforts to marginalize him as more than a bit kooky. Try as they might, they are thus far unsuccessful at getting the electorate to snub him. In fact, the more voters hear from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the more they like him.
It’s not exactly uh-oh time for the Joe Biden campaign, but you can be sure it doesn’t like what it sees in the polls. And just what might that be? Mum is the word in the legacy press, so here is the latest.
Right out of the chute, RFK Jr. polled in the teens. Name recognition alone is likely what got him there. What has happened since his announcement that he plans to primary a sitting president from his own party? The answer is he is rising while Biden’s numbers are falling.
At the end of April, according to Rasmussen Reports, Biden was polling 62 to Kennedy’s 19. At the beginning of May, Fox News had the exact same numbers. One outlier poll, Emerson, had Kennedy at 21. However, by May 26, a CNN survey had Biden at 60 and Kennedy at 20. That’s not a seismic shift, but it is not the trend the Biden campaign wants to see marching into the primary season.
Another polling note comes from the Trafalgar Group. At the beginning of May, it asked 1,087 general election voters: “To what do you attribute Robert Kennedy Jr’s rising support in the Democratic Presidential primary?” A whopping 66.1% said it was their “general dissatisfaction with President Biden.” Another 21% believe it was because of “Kennedy’s opposition to the political and corporate establishment.” Putting two and two together: Since Biden represents the political establishment, it could be argued that 87% of those surveyed say people are turning to Kennedy because they don’t want Biden.
Digging deeper into the Trafalgar poll, a full 60.4% of Democrats said Kennedy was rising because of dissatisfaction with Biden. Another 62% of those with no party affiliation agreed. Of those polled, the sampling of Democrats was larger than that of Republicans.
RFK Jr. – The Man and His Message
The son of the slain 1968 Democratic candidate and nephew of President John F. Kennedy is a tough one to put in a box. His policy stances run the gamut of the political spectrum, but significantly his message hits a nerve with Dems who seem weary of the progressives running the show.
The editorial board of the New York Post wrote, “Biden’s a fool to ignore the RFK Jr. challenge” and averred, “Kennedy has real conviction and charisma, and he’s fiercely independent of many of the party’s reigning pieties — all of which should appeal.”
In The Hill, Douglas MacKinnon opined in an article titled “Why I Believe RFK Jr. Will Be the 2024 Democratic nominee.” He wrote, “Kennedy’s ‘ace in the hole’ may very well be his simplified campaign message: ‘Tell the truth.’ He pledges to roll up his sleeves much like his dad did in the 1960s and engage in honest conversations with the people.”
In an article written for the Wall Street Journal titled “Biden Has a Kennedy Problem,” author James Freeman postulated RFK Jr. “is presenting a formidable challenge to the White House, and it’s not clear what the president can do about it.”
Freeman backed up his theory with a survey conducted by Echelon Insights, which “suggests that Mr. Kennedy may have the best nationwide favorability rating of any politician in the country.” Clocking in at 44%, Kennedy was four points ahead of Biden. But that’s not even the best part for the Kennedy campaign: Freeman correctly pointed out that “while a full 58% of likely voters have an unfavorable view of the president, only 22% have such low regard for Mr. Kennedy.”
On Memorial Day in San Diego, RFK Jr. harkened back to a classic Kennedy-esque message, as local television station CBS8 reported:
“I feel like I am losing my country. I feel like my party has gone off the rails. It’s become the party of war, and the Democratic Party was always skeptical about war. It’s become the party of censorship, which is antithetical to the definition and tradition of liberalism. [We’re] … spending money that we don’t have. We’re like an alcoholic who is behind on his mortgage and has taken the milk money to buy rounds for everybody, strangers at the bar. We don’t have the money.”
This non-politician talking some sense to his party may be taking a page out of the Trump handbook. Intuitively it feels peculiar that the Democratic Party would seek to quash someone named Kennedy. Although it may be too soon to say just now, it is entirely possible that Biden & Co. may have to take RFK Jr. more seriously. He is proving to be more than a stalking horse who could give the incumbent president a run for his money.
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