Amid growing sentiment about a potential rematch between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, a recent poll has unveiled a formidable third candidate. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has gained significant traction among voters under 45 in crucial swing states. The surprising twist in the 2024 presidential campaign also signals real concerns with Biden’s age, but younger voters are also concerned with Trump, who is just three years younger than the incumbent president. The poll, which The New York Times and Siena College conducted, revealed that in a hypothetical one-on-one contest, Trump would prevail over his predecessor in five of the crucial battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory in 2020. Notably, the survey underscored a notable shift in support among younger voters, with Kennedy emerging as a compelling independent challenger.
Across the swing states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin, Kennedy commands a 34% support base among 18 to 29-year-old voters, with an additional 31% among those aged 30 to 44. Trump’s figures stand at 29% and 30%, respectively, while Biden maintains 30% across both demographics. Kennedy declared in September that he would run as an independent. The 69-year-old ‘child of Camelot,’ who initially contended for the Democratic nomination, has a political platform that encompasses a steadfast commitment to rectifying environmental disparities, dismantling qualified immunity in law enforcement, and addressing the deep-seated racial inequities embedded within the American healthcare system.
Born in the District of Columbia, Kennedy’s dedication to redressing longstanding issues in marginalized communities is palpable. He said he envisions dismantling systemic barriers and forging a more inclusive and equitable future, particularly for African Americans who have borne the weight of longstanding injustices, including the pressing issue of maternal mortality. In the shadow of a storied political legacy, with his uncle John F. Kennedy revered as a highly respected president and his father’s Democratic nomination tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Kennedy has embarked on a bold endeavor to challenge the current political paradigm and potentially catalyze a nationwide movement for change.
“Empowering Black Americans will be a central focus for me, especially in eradicating the pervasive fear of perilous encounters with law enforcement,” Kennedy said during an interview with the Black Press of America. He pledged to end qualified immunity, a legal protection shielding police officers from personal liability in legal proceedings. “Incentives for reform are lacking under the current system,” he said. “We must eliminate qualified immunity, compelling individuals to weigh their accountability in every interaction. A robust economic system should incentivize virtuous conduct and penalize transgressions. That’s what we need.” Kennedy stressed the imperative of reshaping law enforcement’s perspective to one focused on safeguarding and serving communities rather than adopting a combative stance when entering Black neighborhoods.
“We need systemic changes,” Kennedy said.