Republicans Acknowledge RFK Jr. Campaign Might Hurt Trump Election

While it was thought at one point that the presidential campaign of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. might hurt the reelection chances of President Joe Biden, it now seems as though Republicans are becoming increasingly worried that he could do the same to their candidate, Donald Trump.

Two new polls have shown that the fact that a third-party presidential candidate is on the ballot won’t necessarily benefit Trump, and could even end up hurting his chances.

During a Monday evening radio interview, Trump said of RFK Jr.:

“They say he hurts Biden. I’m not sure that that’s true, and I think he probably hurts [us] both. But, he might hurt Biden a little bit more, you don’t know.”

Democrats have been on the defensive for months now from Kennedy’s attacks. Many Biden surrogates have warned that RFK Jr. could have dire effects on the election.

The Democratic National Committee has even set up an operation that’s dedicated solely to counter a third-party threat and that from any other independent candidates.

Recent polling, though, shows that Kennedy could draw evenly from both sides of the political aisle at the polls in November. He even has significantly higher favorability ratings from Republican voters, which could suggest that he could end up eating more into potential Trump supporters compared to Biden supporters.

Politico recently conducted an analysis of campaign finance data, which showed that former donors to Trump’s campaign are far more interested in RFK Jr. than people who contributed to Biden in the past.

Alice Stewart, a Republican consultant, commented on the situation:

“If the Trump campaign doesn’t see this as a concern, then they’re delusional. They should be looking at this from the standpoint that they can’t afford to lose any voters — and certainly not to a third-party candidate that shares some of [Trump’s] policy ideas.”

Trump tried to position RFK Jr. as “extremely liberal” on a radio show on Monday as a way to dissuade some of his potential supporters from jumping ship.

And one of Trump’s senior advisers, Chris LaCivita, has for many months tried to brush off rumors that Trump was considering RFK Jr. as his potential running mate.

In January, he called such a story “100% fake news” and even said that Kennedy was “one of the most liberal and radical environmentalists in the country.”

Some GOPers still believe that RFK Jr. is going to be a boon for the Trump campaign and not a bust, though. One Trump pollster, Jim McLaughlin, commented on the situation in battleground states by saying:

“Everything I’m seeing is that at the end of the day, RFK Jr. is going to hurt Joe Biden more than he’s going to hurt Donald Trump. And that’s why the BIden people are trying to get him thrown off the ballot.”

Still, he added:

“[Trump has] a much more intense base than Joe Biden does. I definitely think that there will be some percentage that RFK Jr. takes from Trump.”