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RFK Jr Says True Spoiler in 2024 Election Should Drop Out -- But It's Not Him

RFK Jr
Created: 01 May, 2024
4 min read

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

 

Independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr made an unprecedented announcement Wednesday: He challenged President Biden to take a "no spoiler pledge," which he will also take with one major stipulation:

Whoever does worse in a head-to-head poll against former President Trump will drop out of the race.

It's unlike anything voters have ever seen from an independent candidate for president, and while it is all but certain that Biden will not take such a pledge, Kennedy is trying to flip the script on how voters view "spoilers" in an election.

“To be a spoiler, a candidate has to fulfill two requirements — first, they must not be able to win themselves, and, second, by participating in the election, they must prevent someone else from winning who otherwise would,” Kennedy explained during a press event in Brooklyn, New York. 

The term "spoiler" has been used against Kennedy in the media and by the parties. The DNC, in particular, is concerned that he will cost Biden the election, and that if their candidate loses it will only be because it wasn't a two-person race. 

Kennedy said that despite the accusations from Trump and Biden that he is the "spoiler" in the 2024 election, data shows otherwise. 

His campaign released the findings of a 50-state poll from John Zogby Strategies that surveyed 26,408 US voters. Such an extensive look at voters in all 50 states costs upwards of half a million dollars, but reportedly has a margin of error of only 0.6%.

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The results showed that no matter if it is a three-person race or just a two-person race between Biden and Trump, Trump wins. But, in a head-to-head against both major party candidates, Kennedy would win.  

The campaign posted the results on its website, including the 50-state breakdown that looks specifically at what the electoral count would actually look like -- something other presidential horse race polls don't do. 

Kennedy focused specifically on how he does against Trump compared to Biden -- and if voters really don't want Trump to win another presidential election, he is the only candidate in the race to stop it. 

"Every poll that has posed this question, a head-to-head race between President Biden and President Trump and a head-to-head race between me and President Trump have said the same thing -- I perform much better against President Trump," he said. 

To date, John Zogby Strategies is one of the only polling agencies to conduct such a poll, so Kennedy challenged media outlets to commission their own polls to see who does better in head-to-head races -- particularly against Trump. 

The Zogby poll isn't the only one showing Trump beating Biden in a head-to-head contest. A recent CNN poll showed Trump with 49% support to Biden's 43%. 

"Ultimately, I think what we all want from this election is for Americans not to feel like they have to vote out of fear." Kennedy said.

He has made this a common theme on the campaign trail. He argues that while some polls show he has a higher favorability than Trump and Biden, the reason he doesn't have more support in these polls is because many are voting out of fear.

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Kennedy says both Biden and Trump are using people's fears to bolster their own support. They want their supporters to fear and hate the "other side." He said Wednesday that voters should feel like they can vote out of hope.

"That is only going to happen in a two-person race between me and President Trump or me and President Biden," he said. 

Kennedy issued a challenge to President Biden, and said he was willing to extend the same challenge to Trump, but said as of now, Trump is not the spoiler. He challenged Biden to sign a "no spoiler pledge."

The pledge states that he and Biden would co-fund a 50-state poll in mid-October that would test the results of two head-to-head contests: One between Biden and Trump and the other between Kennedy and Trump. 

The candidates would agree that the person who performs the weakest against Trump would drop out of the race.

It is a long-shot offer to the Biden campaign. Neither Kennedy nor his campaign announced the extent to which they would push the pledge, but Kennedy said Biden should follow through with previous plans not to run for re-election. 

Kennedy is still working on obtaining ballot access in states across the country, including in New York. Most recently, he gained ballot access in California as the official nominee of the American Independent Party. 

He has also qualified for the ballot in Hawaii, Utah, and Michigan. His campaign says it has collected the signatures needed to gain additional ballot access in Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.

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Each state varies in its ballot access rules and has different signature gathering windows for independent candidates. Kennedy supporters have started political parties in some states just to get him on the ballot.

His campaign says it is confident he will be on the ballot in all 50 states. 

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