- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his unlikely bid for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday.
- President Joe Biden is expected to run for re-election but has not made a formal announcement.
- Polls show Biden holding a double-digit lead over all but one of all other potential candidates.
President Joe Biden has yet to officially announce that he will run for re-election, but Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is already challenging Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.
On Wednesday, Kennedy announced his unlikely offer for 2024 and launched his campaign from Boston, where he discussed his father’s 1968 campaign, his criticism of the pharmaceutical industry and his career as an environmental lawyer in a nearly two-hour speech.
The nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former United States Attorney General and assassinated 1968 presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Kennedy has become known as an anti-vaccine activist and a leading advocate of misinformation about COVID-19.
Biden hopes to make his own 2024 announcement soon and is widely expected to enter the primary as the clear favorite. Early polls show the president holding a double-digit lead over other potential Democratic candidates, including Kennedy, self-help author and 2024 candidate Marianne Williamson, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Although a recent poll showed that several Biden voters are prepared to lean toward Kennedy, the president does well in a hypothetical matchup against the political newcomer. The only name that could close that gap to single digits has been former first lady Michelle Obama, who has not signaled any plans to run for the White House.
In a USA Today/Suffolk University poll conducted Saturday through Tuesday, 14 percent of Biden’s 2020 supporters said they would vote for Kennedy. Comparably, 67 percent of those voters said they would re-elect Biden, with 13 percent remaining undecided and 5 percent endorsing Williamson.
Despite overwhelming numbers of voters supporting a second term for Biden, David Paleologos, director of the Center for Political Research at Suffolk University, said the survey indicates that Democratic voters are receptive to another option.
“In 2020, Joe Biden received more votes than any other president in US history, but the poll tells us that those same voters are open to other Democrats waging a forceful primary,” Paleologos said. USA Today. “Kennedy, while a long shot at this point, starts with double digits and cannot be ignored.”
Kennedy scored well between the 33 percent of Biden supporters who disapprove of Biden’s work in the White House and the 35 percent who described Biden’s policies as “too liberal.”
In response to the poll, TV personality and daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, Meghan McCain, tweeted: “RFK Jr. and all his crazy anti-vaccine propaganda has enough support to make for very interesting spoilers for Biden…”
However, a Morning Consult poll earlier this month showed slightly higher odds for Biden, who held a 60-point lead over Kennedy, 70 to 10 percent. Four percent of those polled chose Williamson.
news week contacted the White House for comment.