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RFK Jr saps more support from Trump than Biden, new poll finds

Anti-vaccine activist and conspiracy theorist Robert F Kennedy Jr’s long-shot presidential bid appears to be drawing more support from former president Donald Trump than President Joe Biden, according to a new poll.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters, conducted between 12-15 April by NBC News, revealed that Mr Biden is trailing Mr Trump by two percentage points in a hypothetical two-way race, 46 per cent to 44 per cent.

However, when third-party and independent candidates are added to the mix, Mr Biden emerges with a two-point advantage over Mr Trump – 39 per cent to 37 per cent.

The poll found that Mr Kennedy, who is running as an independent, draws 13 per cent; former Harvard professor Cornel West draws 2 per cent; and Green Party perennial candidate Jill Stein gets 3 per cent.

While the results are well within the survey’s 3.1 per cent margin of error, it shows the potential impact of third-party nominees and independents on the two main party candidates.

President Biden speaks alongside members of the Kennedy family as he accepted their endorsement during a campaign event in Philadelphia last Thursday (AP)

Although a scion of one of America’s most prominent political families — the son of late senator Robert F Kennedy and nephew of late president John F Kennedy — RFK Jr’s entrance into the 2024 race, first as a Democratic primary contender and later as an independent, was mainly hailed by Republicans who see his candidacy as key to pulling support from Mr Biden in swing states.

The Biden campaign has taken the threat of Mr Kennedy seriously, bringing on a veteran operative, Lis Smith, to combat political dangers from him, and other third-party candidates.

The new NBC polling comes days after a group of Kennedy family members officially endorsed Mr Biden at an event, a move viewed as a major snub to their errant relative.

Kerry Kennedy, sister of RFK Jr, made clear that the family sees “only two candidates with any chance of winning the presidency” – Mr Biden and former president Donald Trump.

She added: “We want to make crystal clear our feeling that the best way forward for America is to reelect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to four more years,” saying that a vote for the 46th president would be “a vote for our democracy and our decency”.

To hammer the message home, she added: “Nearly every single grandchild of Joe and Rose Kennedy supports Joe Biden. That’s right, the Kennedy family endorses Joe Biden for president.”


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