Tag Archives: RFK Jr.

Is RFK Jr. Going Libertarian? Conflicting Presidential Polling; Trone Expands Lead in Maryland; Special Election Ad Spending in NY

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 2, 2024


Will Robert F. Kennedy Jr., currently running as an Independent general election candidate, switch to the Libertarian Party?

RFK Jr.: Flirting with Libertarian Party — Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and Libertarian Party leaders confirm they are discussing the possibility of Kennedy becoming the party’s presidential nominee. They are likely still a long way from coming to an agreement, though, mostly because some of Kennedy’s major issue positions such as climate change and gun control do not align with the party leadership; the move, however, makes practical sense for both entities.

First, being the Libertarian Party nominee would give Kennedy ballot access in all 50 states, something that is difficult for any Independent to obtain. The Libertarian Party was the only non-Democratic or Republican entity to achieve universal ballot status in 2020 (Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen appeared on the Libertarian line in 48 states and the District of Columbia; in Alabama and Tennessee, she appeared as an Independent), and they again would with Kennedy as their nominee.

Additionally, featuring RFK Jr. as their candidate, it is highly likely that the Libertarian Party would attract its highest historical number of votes. This is important for the organization’s future because many states base future party status upon performance in the national election.

Morning Consult/Bloomberg/Quinnipiac Polls: Any Given Poll — It’s a common saying in the NFL that “on any given Sunday any team can beat another.” A similar phrase appears applicable in political polling, as well. On almost any given day, we can find polls that disagree over outcome even though conducted during the same time period. Wednesday’s Morning Consult/Bloomberg News and Quinnipiac University are good examples.

The day began with Morning Consult/Bloomberg releasing their new regional survey series (Jan. 16-22; 4,596 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; online; part of regular tracking), which finds former President Donald Trump leading in all of the key swing states with margins between three (Arizona, Pennsylvania) at 10 percentage points (North Carolina). Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin each posted five-point Trump margins, while Georgia and Nevada were closer to the North Carolina number at plus-eight. Turning to their national track, MC/Bloomberg posted Trump to a two-point advantage over President Joe Biden in the head-to-head ballot test.

Yet in the Quinnipiac University release, a poll that was in the field within a similar same time frame as MC/Bloomberg, though earlier in January (Jan. 4-8; 1,680 US registered voters; live interview), President Biden posted his biggest national popular vote lead of any recent poll, 50-44 percent. When the Independent and minor party candidates were added in, such as RFK Jr., for example, the Biden edge shrinks to just two percentage points, which is much more in line with other pollsters.


Maryland: Rep. Trone Expands Lead — A new internal Hickman Analytics poll for the David Trone for Senate campaign (Jan. 18-24; 1,500 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) sees Trone, the 6th District Congressman, leading Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks by a 45-34 percent margin in the open Democratic US Senate primary. The question, however, is for how long? The poll contained an over-sample of African Americans and females to emphasize the groups with which Rep. Trone is weakest.

Though the early numbers look good for the congressman, it must be understood that his campaign has spent well over $15 million to date, and $7 million alone just since November according to the Inside Elections publication. Trone began advertising a year before the primary election.

The Alsobrooks campaign has yet to run an ad. Since it is clear that she cannot match the congressman in an ad war with him self-financing the race from his huge personal wealth, the Alsobrooks strategists are waiting until late in the contest to unleash their own ad buys. She will be competitive as we get closer to the May 14th primary, so despite Trone’s polling and resource lead, this primary battle is far from over.


NY-3: Special Election Ad Spending Update — The Daily Kos Elections and AdImpact organizations charted the spending in the special congressional election to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) as we approach the Feb. 13 election. According to their data, the overall Democratic operation is outspending the encompassing Republican effort by a large amount, $9.6 million to $5.7 million. The two candidates are former US Rep. Tom Suozzi for the Democrats, and Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip for the GOP.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, however, is coming in late to help even the score. They have reserved $2.6 million in television and digital ads to bring the final days spending into parity. In terms of spending booked for the final two weeks, the Democratic advantage narrows to $2.8 to $2.44 million.

Kennedy’s Victory Path

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. / Photo by Gage Skidmore

Can RFK Jr. Do It?: Here’s How — Though there is plenty with which to disagree in a new piece that author and literary agent Brian Robertson published Sunday in the Washington Examiner (RFK Jr. Has a Path to Victory), he does raise an interesting point about a potential victory path for presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

In the article, Robertson makes the statement that the Kennedy campaign is now “driving the legacy media, as well as their handlers in the Democratic Party, insane with desperation.” He further states that Kennedy is showing “surprising strength” in the polls and posting “robust” fundraising numbers.

Little of the aforementioned rings true. It is highly unlikely that the Biden campaign strategists and their many media allies are panicking over the presence of Kennedy as an opponent.

Furthermore, it is not realistic to describe Kennedy’s poll numbers, which ranged from 11-20 pecent among Democratic primary voters through various national surveys, as ”surprising strength.” Additionally, while the Kennedy campaign reports on their June 30 Federal Election Commission campaign finance disclosure report of raising over $6.3 million, in this day and age of campaigning nationally such a dollar number is not particularly “robust.”

Robertson, however, does make some intriguing points. First, he is correct in his assessment that Kennedy has done a credible job of cracking through the media-imposed blackout of him and at least neutralizing their attempt to dismiss him as basically just a nuisance candidate to President Joe Biden.

Conversely, it’s important to keep in mind that President Biden’s own standing within Democratic primary polling isn’t all that impressive for an incumbent national leader. While Kennedy ranges from 11-20 percent as mentioned above, President Biden’s numbers spread between 60-71 percent in the same polls. Typically, an incumbent president should be posting average support figures of well over 80 percent from voters within his own political party.

But Robertson’s most interesting point is around the type of primaries the early states will host. The author isolates the first voting states of, for the Democrats, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Michigan, and educates the reader that all have some form of open voting. This means that non-affiliated voters can crossover and cast their ballot in the Democratic primary. The vast majority of these voters are not covered in the Democratic nomination polls, so within this group could be a hidden subset of voters for Kennedy.

The situation then becomes more intriguing if President Biden does not enter the New Hampshire primary. The state is unlikely to adhere to the Democratic National Committee’s primary schedule, thus President Biden may just skip the Granite State vote.

In and of itself, this would not be a major happening, but if Kennedy can begin to attract enough non-affiliated voters, and perhaps even some Republican support where election laws allow, meaning South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia, from this pool of states voting before and on Super Tuesday, the campaign could begin to change.

While there is little chance that even a surging Kennedy campaign could deny President Biden renomination, the challenger exceeding expectations may certainly cast a new light upon the general election. Additionally, the stronger Kennedy’s showing in the early states is, enhances his attractiveness to a minor party searching for a candidate.

While Kennedy at this point rejects questions about running as a minor party candidate, a stronger than expected finish in the early Democratic primaries could cause him to think otherwise.