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Majority of Americans Support RFK Jr. Running as an Independent

Kennedy draws equally from Biden and Trump

You can also read this article on our People's Party Substack.

The Democratic Party has rigged its primary against Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., but a new poll shows that a large majority of Americans support him leaving the Democratic Party and running as an independent.

Commissioned by the People’s Party and conducted by YouGov from September 15-18, the poll finds that 63% of Americans support an independent run. The question states: “The DNC is rigging the Democratic Party primary against presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Would you support Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. leaving the Democratic Party and running as an independent instead?”

A second question in the poll shows that an independent RFK Jr. starts with 17% against Biden and Trump. The poll assumes that the most popular candidate in each party is nominated.

The poll shows that Kennedy has even more support among the general electorate than he has in the Democratic primary, where he’s averaging 15%. It’s unprecedented for a candidate to have more support among Americans than they do in their own party. Polling at 17% would qualify him to participate in the general election debates if the major parties used the traditional 15% threshold.

Remarkably, the same general election matchup without RFK Jr. shows that he draws equally from Biden and Trump, allowing him to unite Americans of various ideologies and parties as he gains support.

Drawing equally from Democrats and Republicans makes it harder for them to label Kennedy as a spoiler to either side, encouraging millions of voters who are fed up with their party on both sides to support him instead.

A second poll commissioned by the People’s Party and conducted by YouGov from June 9-15, 2022, found that Americans have an overwhelmingly favorable impression of independents. It was the most popular term among those polled. This reinforces the idea that running on issues over labels allows you to unite the broadest coalition.

In contrast, Americans have strongly unfavorable views of the Democratic and Republican parties. Independent has a net favorability of +44 while the Democratic Party has a net favorability of -15 and the Republican Party has a net favorability of -19.

In addition, the latest party affiliation poll by Gallup, conducted from August 1-23, 2023, found that almost half the country is already independent, while only about a quarter are Democrats and Republicans each.

The number of independents has risen over the last two decades as people have lost confidence in the establishment parties and millions have left them. The result is an ocean of independents with no political home. Running as an independent makes it easier to unite the support of the large plurality who already describe themselves as independents. It’s also a statement that you are uncontrolled by special interests.

A Harvard Harris poll conducted in April 2022 found that most Americans are open to an independent candidate taking on Biden and Trump.

The most successful third party presidential campaign in more than a century was Ross Perot’s independent run in 1992. In June of that year, Perot was actually leading Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr. by 15 points with 37% support to their 24% each. He likely would have won if he hadn’t dropped out of the race in July and then reentered in October. But even after dropping out for months, he still got 19% of the vote by running as an independent, the best third party result since Teddy Roosevelt ran with the Bull Moose Party in 1912.

Nearly half the country is independent and 100 million people have given up on voting. RFK Jr. is the most popular politician in America and could inspire them back to the polls as an independent, the most popular political banner in the country.

A large majority of Americans support RFK Jr. going independent and he draws equally from Biden and Trump. Going independent will help him attract support from across the political spectrum, bring together an unprecedented coalition, and spark a political realignment.

The Democratic Party is a dead end for Kennedy’s campaign. An incumbent president has never lost a party primary. In 2017, the DNC stated in court that its presidential primaries are a charade and that it picks the nominees. It stated that, as a private corporation, it is under no obligation to be impartial or follow its own rules. The court upheld this argument.

Furthermore, the DNC and the Biden campaign are essentially the same entity. Biden appointed DNC Chair Jamie Harrison, who is shutting down debates and rearranging the primary schedule according to Biden’s wishes. In February, the entire DNC unanimously endorsed Biden. The president’s campaign dictates the rules of the primary and can change them at will. At the convention, the party can even choose a nominee who didn’t run in the primary, as it did in 1968. This means that even if Biden dropped out, the DNC would still install someone like Gavin Newsom.

The Biden campaign is also the biggest donor to the DNC. Donations to the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee with the DNC, financially sustain the party. It brings in hundreds of millions of dollars from big donors that flow to the DNC, all fifty state party organizations, and their vast array of staff, consulting firms, and vendors. The entire party ecosystem and everyone who profits from it would collapse if the party nominated Kennedy. This is why the party rigged the election against Bernie twice and why it will never choose RFK Jr. The party would rather lose with an establishment candidate who keeps the corporate money flowing than win with a populist.

Tulsi Gabbard’s popularity soared when she announced that she was leaving the Democratic Party and going independent last fall. She called on fellow Democrats to join her saying, “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers.”

Instead of ending with another stolen primary and Biden endorsement, RFK Jr. has the opportunity to do what Bernie Sanders should have by running as an independent. This new and exciting path, along with Kennedy’s populist economic and foreign policy, will galvanize the country.

Seeing a Kennedy put country before party will show leadership, courage, and a strong moral compass — the kind that could pierce the tribalism and heal the divide. Leaving the Democratic Party might also free him to take bolder stances against the party orthodoxy, like freeing Palestine and abolishing NATO.

Kennedy has said that he may go third party many times recently. In an interview with Forbes two weeks ago he said, “If the DNC is going to rig it so that it is simply impossible for anybody to challenge President Biden, then I need to look at other alternatives. Because I can’t go back to the people supporting me and my donors and say, ‘I’m in this to make a point,’ I need to show them a road to victory.” Running as an independent is the road to victory.

If he wants to win, RFK Jr. will need to be decisive. State filing deadlines to run as an independent begin in January and a candidate must start collecting ballot access signatures in October. Kennedy has the resources and volunteers to achieve 50-state independent ballot access like Ross Perot did in 1992. He has said that he will decide whether to go independent by October 15.

Most importantly, humanity is simply out of time. As RFK Jr. knows, the existential risk to humanity from nuclear war, engineered pandemics, and AI has grown beyond extreme. We’ve nearly exhausted conventional weapons escalation against Russia in Ukraine and face the greatest risk of nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Governments and perhaps non-state actors are engineering doomsday viruses. Big Tech is developing AI that will exceed human intelligence, and hundreds of AI experts and industry leaders are issuing dire warnings that it could render us extinct. Every year these technologies grow exponentially stronger and proliferate. MIT professor and machine learning expert Max Tegmark says we’re in a car racing towards a cliff. RFK Jr. is perhaps the only candidate who appreciates the danger and has a real path to victory as an independent. We must defeat the corporate state now. Because if we fail to change course, it is not an exaggeration to say that we may not reach 2028.

*The September 2023 YouGov poll had an industry-standard sample size of 1,000 US citizens 18+ with a margin of error of +/-3%. The June 2022 YouGov poll had a sample size of 2,000+ US citizens 18+ with a margin of error of +/-2%.