Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy took in more than $11 million in donations just hours after announcing his intention to contest the 2024 election independently. Mr. Kennedy started the race as a Democrat, but at a recent rally in Philadelphia, he declared his independence and urged the American public to do the same.
He said it was a difficult decision to leave the party he grew up in, but his views do not gel with its mainstream opinion. Both he and Democrat candidate Marianne Williamson have complained about the DNC’s decision not to hold primary debates, saying it is clear the Democrats are trying to shield President Biden from scrutiny and competition.
Tony Lyons, co-founder of the Kennedy super PAC American Values 2024, said, “Americans don’t like censorship or propaganda, and they are tired of being lied to.”
Polling suggests that Kennedy will cause problems for both Joe Biden and Donald Trump, but he will likely cause more damage to the President’s numbers. In early October, surveys placed Mr. Kennedy at 14%, which analysts say is unusually high for a third candidate. CNN’s Harry Enten noted the last time a third candidate polled this high was Ross Perot in the 1996 White House campaign.
As October ran on, results showed that Kennedy’s support widened the gap between President Biden and Donald Trump and improved Trump’s chances of re-taking the Oval Office. In several surveys, Trump has jumped in front of Biden when Kennedy’s name was added to the mix.
Meanwhile, Senator Tim Scott has dropped his planned $40 million TV ad campaign amid signs that his campaign may end. Mission PAC, backing Mr. Scott, said the primary field is “stuck” and remains dominated by Trump. In another potential surprise, analysts have begun describing Nikki Haley as a rising contender to Trump as she closes in on Ron DeSantis for second place. One poll result showed Haley at 19% and DeSantis down to just 10%.