A new poll found 14% of voters who backed President Joe Biden are now likely to cast their vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Kennedy is the son of former U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. The author and lawyer confirmed he would seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency on April 5.
The poll, from USA Today/ Suffolk University, found 67% of Biden supporters plan to vote for him again should the president announce a bid for reelection in 2024.
Kennedy leads self-help author Marianne Williamson, who 5% of Biden voters say they plan to support next November. Another 13% of Biden voters say they are undecided.
In total, 600 Biden supporters were contacted via landline or cell phone. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus four percent.
The results of the poll indicate the current president does not have solid support among his base going into the next election cycle.
“In 2020, Joe Biden received more votes than any other president in U.S. history, yet the poll tells us that those same voters are open to other Democrats to wage a spirited primary,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Kennedy, although a long shot at this point, starts in double digits and can’t be ignored.”
Approximately 33% of the Biden-turned-Kennedy supporters said they did not approve of the job Biden has done while in the White House.
Kennedy is scheduled to formally announce his campaign at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston on April 19.
An experienced environmental and trial attorney, Kennedy is widely known for his vaccine skepticism which garnered him a significant online following in the wake of the global outbreak of COVID-19. Kennedy opposed the COVID-19 vaccination mandate and spoke at a “Defeat the Mandate” rally outside the Lincoln Memorial in January of 2022 to a crowd of more than 7,000 people.
“We are all different political orientations, different political parties, different assumptions and backgrounds, different races and creeds and [colors], and we are here for one reason: we love the United States of America,” Kennedy said, per The Australian Financial Review. “But we have witnessed over the past 20 months a coup d’etat against democracy and the controlled demolition of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
He warned about the impact vaccine mandates could have on the balance of federal power and the state of individual freedoms in America.
“Every power the government takes from us, it will never relinquish voluntarily,” said Kennedy. “They are not relinquishing the power to do it to you again and again, and they now have power, and they will never let it go until we make them let it go.”
In January 2017, President Donald Trump’s then-press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Kennedy had been asked to chair a commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity. Kennedy and Trump have both expressed concern about the potential links between childhood vaccinations and autism.
Biden has not given a clear indication of when he will announce his plans for 2024.
He told NBC’s Al Roker on April 11, “I plan on running, Al, but we’re not prepared to announce it yet.”
The president did not give details about what may be keeping him from formally entering the race for 2024.