RFK JR seems to be gaining steam

Given the inherent dynamics of third-party candidates, it seems to me that both Democrats and Republicans should be concerned about this.

Unsurprisingly, given RFK Jr’s lunatic views on vaccines and his appeal to the crazies, the article suggests he’d be siphoning more votes from the Trump camp than from Biden, and that more of his funding comes from Trump supporters than from the Biden side. His background as an environmental lawyer and his former Democratic affiliations seem less important to the crowd than the fact that he’s nuts.

Although TBF, there are still plenty of anti-vaxx crazies on the left of the political spectrum, who may be ideologically opposed to Trump but are still very gullible about medical misinformation. But I think you’re probably right that the overall lunacy of RFKJr’s views would be at least as much of a handicap to Trump as to Biden when it comes to effectiveness in eroding the major candidate’s voter base.

Early polls are meaningless. There’s no way the RFK Loonier is going to pick up 22% of the vote. Give me a break.

It’s very early days and there’s plenty of time for more foot-in-mouthery and looniness from MAGA Jr. to drive down his support, but he could well challenge H. Ross Perot’s 19% of the vote in 1992 as a third-party candidate (interestingly, while Perot did better among conservatives than liberals, it wasn’t by a huge margin).

I’d like to believe that Jr. will pull more votes from Rethuglicans than Demoncrats, but his anti-corporate, pro-environmental posturing will have a certain appeal among Dems who will happily ignore his descent into Crazytown to have another Kennedy to vote for. He’s been raising a lot of money, much of it coming from Hollywood and at least one prominent Trump donor.*

MAGA Jr, makes much of the fact that he’s “nonpartisan”, which is true in a sense - he’ll take money from anybody. :smiley:

Your article says that most of his funding is coming from that GOP donor.

Are you disputing the Hollywood angle?

One of Jr.'s donors is, unsurprisingly, Oliver Stone, another assassination conspiracy theorist.

To protect RFK’s legacy, I think we have to start calling this iteration QFK.

Given the inherent dynamics of third-party candidates, both parties should completely ignore him.

Sounds about right, putting aside the name-calling (Demoncrats?) that goes against my personal taste.

Kennedy’s VP choice might give a clue as to whether he’s going to push harder left or right. According to this he has until January 6 to name a running mate if he really expects to get on 50 state ballots. So we should know fairly soon.

Normally, at least one of the parties will have their lawyers scrutinize the third party’s petitions in an often-successful attempt to deny ballot access.

If you care to answer, are you saying both parties shouldn’t do this? Or do you just mean they shouldn’t mention Kennedy on their web sites and in speeches?

Here I’m thinking the Jr supporting loonies would love to see Sarah Palin in the mix. Or maybe just grab Nicki whatshername and take a larger portion from the trumpies.

Ahem! …

In the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Nader won 97,488 votes, while Al Gore lost the state (and, therefore, the presidency) by 537 votes to Mr. Bush. In five other states this was also true. And it still haunts Democrats – from bar rants to national discourse.

In this case, RFK Jr may impact Republicans instead, to the extent that being an unhinged loon appears to be a political asset in the Republican-leaning demographic.

But if Gore came out swinging against Nader, would that have caused Nader to lose votes, or would it have raised his profile as a serious contender and so actually increased his vote count?

I was wrong. I thought nothing was more meaningless than early presidential polls. Yet the threat of Kennedy as a serious candidate sinks below that bar.

I was responding to what I perceived to be a different argument, that JFK Jr wasn’t going to be a factor of any significance in the election. Any third-party candidate may indeed be a significant factor in a close election, as both Ross Perot was in 1992 and Ralph Nader was in 2000, and JFK Jr is shaping up to potentially be another one. How the major party candidates should respond to that is a different question. Current polls suggest that Democrats should maybe indeed just ignore him, and let him drain away the Republican nutjob vote.

Is this really a thing these days? I’m 50, lifelong Democrat, and “Kennedy” doesn’t hold any special sway with me. I assume it’s even less for Millennials and Gen Z people. I assume much of the Camelot generation has either passed on or aged into conservatism. Not everyone, of course, but each time I hear people suggest “But Kennedy…” I have to wonder where it’s coming from. Especially when it’s a Kennedy acting like a loon.

I assume it’s partially geographic as well – maybe people in Massachusetts care more.

My understanding is that the right tend to think he could be a challenge to Biden, but that he’s actually more attractive to the conspiracy theorist types, which is a type that Trump has successfully courted—including some from the US left. So it’s more likely to peel off would-be Trump voters.

The non-conspiratorial US left seem to view his antivax and conspiracy nutter stuff as offputting.

Oh dear. QAnon has gotten to @wolfpup.

Oops … RFK Jr, RFK Jr, dammit!! Even looking at your post I didn’t see the typo for a few minutes!!