In a highly anticipated announcement, presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. confirmed the speculation that he is leaving the Democrat primary race to become an independent candidate for the 2024 election. Speaking at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, PA, RFK gave notice that he was no longer campaigning as a Democrat and that he intends to fight the election outside of the two major parties.
He said that he was “here to declare independence” from the “mercenary media,” “the cynical elites who betray our hopes,” and a number of other systems across the nation. Finally, he invited the watching crowd to join him in his own independence from the two big parties and their “corruption.” “It’s very painful for me to let go of the party of my father, my uncle, my grandfather,” he said. He promised to be a “servant only to my conscience, my creator, and to you.”
After peaking at 20% in early primary polls, his support has been slowly ebbing among Democrat voters who saw him as a “conspiracist” for his views on vaccines. There was much speculation prior to the announcement that he may be signing up to lead the Libertarian Party. While the party has had generally poor electoral showings, it has been successful in getting on the ballot nationwide, an issue with which an Independent RFK Jr. will now have to contend.
RFK Jr.’s “star power” could prove to be a potent electoral force next year, as more than 70% of US voters have indicated they want neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump on the ballot. It remains possible that his independent run could be a do-over of Ross Perot’s historic 19% in 1992.