Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is nearing ballot access in three crucial battleground states that President Joe Biden won in 2020 but is lagging behind in polls against former President Donald Trump for 2024.

Kennedy’s campaign announced on Super Tuesday it received the required signatures to get his candidacy on the ballot in Nevada, and his aligned super PAC American Values 2024 surpassed similar thresholds in Arizona and Georgia just last week. In the three battleground states, where the previous election was decided by less than 56,000 ballots combined, polling suggests Trump’s lead against Biden grows when Kennedy and other third-party candidates are on the ballot.

“Nearly 70% of Americans don’t want a Trump/Biden rematch from 2020. They want to vote for someone who represents hope and healing. For someone with an inspiring vision for America,” Kennedy said in a statement Tuesday. “I look forward to taking on Presidents Biden and Trump on the issues that matter most to Americans — from making housing and health care affordable to ending the forever wars and unraveling corporate capture of our government.”

Trump is beating Biden by 7.7 points in Nevada, 6.5 points in Georgia and 5.5 points in Arizona for head-to-head matchups, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) averages. The former president’s leads grow slightly to 8.5 points in Nevada, 8 points in Georgia and 7.5 points in Arizona when Kennedy, “Justice for All Party” candidate Cornel West and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included.

In the three battleground states, Kennedy pulls in the most support of the third-party candidates at anywhere from 6.7% to 8.5% of the share in the RCP averages.

Trump won Arizona and Georgia in 2016, but lost both to Biden the following election by less than one point. The Democratic nominee won Nevada each cycle, with Biden securing the state by 2.4 points in 2020.

Jon McHenry, GOP polling analyst and vice president at North Star Opinion Research, believes that even a small increase in margin for Trump with Kennedy on the ballot in crucial battleground states could be enough to swing the election for him.

“On the face of it, it makes sense that a nominal Democrat like [Kennedy] would take more votes away from President Biden than former President Trump,” McHenry told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “What we’ve seen in our polling is a very slight difference in margin — maybe a point or two better for Trump — because [Kennedy’s] candidacy is more than anything else an anti-Biden statement that provides another option for some folks who might choose Trump in a two way ballot.”

“Of course, if it’s a point or two better for Trump, that could be the difference in states like Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin, and flipping those three states would give Trump a win in 2024,” McHenry added.

Kennedy originally challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination in April 2023, where he had been pulling in double-digit support, but switched his affiliation to independent in October.

Mark Weaver, a veteran Republican strategist, argued that Kennedy being a household Democratic name would likely pull more support from Biden’s camp than Trump’s.

“The polls I’ve seen show Trump voters gripping more tightly to their candidate than Biden voters gripping to theirs,” Weaver told the DCNF. “The pull of a third-party candidate will have a greater effect on Biden voters, who are not gripped so tightly to their candidate, than it will on Trump voters.”

Kyle Kondik, nonpartisan polling analyst and managing editor for Sabato’s Crystal Ball, argued that West and Stein’s candidacies pose more of a threat to Biden’s campaign than Kennedy’s does.

“Biden generally does worse on the ‘full ballot,’ but that also includes Cornel West and Jill Stein, who more clearly are left-wing and who more clearly hurt Biden,” Kondik told the DCNF. “[Kennedy’s] effect is harder to quantify, as he generally takes from both Biden and Trump.”

Kennedy has already secured ballot access in Utah, and collected the required signatures to get on the ballot in New Hampshire. American Values 2024 is now focused on gathering signatures in California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

The independent’s supporters collected enough signatures in Hawaii to establish the “We The People” party, which plans on nominating Kennedy for president, the campaign announced on Feb. 22. Kennedy’s allies have also filed the necessary paperwork to form the party in California, Delaware, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas.

Kennedy’s campaign is aiming to make it on the ballot in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C.

The Kennedy, Trump and Biden campaigns did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation


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