• Conventional wisdom suggests that RFK Jr.'s presidential campaign could stop Biden from reelection.
  • A recent poll, however, shows the long shot campaign may have the opposite effect.
  • Biden leads Trump in an NBC News survey when third-party candidates are in the mix.

Former President Donald Trump's allies may end up regretting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s long shot presidential campaign.

A new poll by NBC News shows that while some conventional wisdom labels Kennedy as more of a threat to President Joe Biden's reelection, that may not actually be the case.

In the survey, NBC found that a greater share of Trump voters flock to the noted vaccine skeptic's campaign when their presidential choices are expanded beyond just Trump and Biden. Trump leads Biden by 2 points (within the margin of error) in a two-on-two rematch, but the advantage flips to Biden by the same margin when the field is expanded to Biden, Trump, Kennedy, Jill Stein, and Cornel West.

On the one hand, it makes sense why such a coalition would exist. Kennedy has even claimed that Trump's allies approached him to be the former president's running mate.

A Politico analysis also found that a greater share of small donors to Kennedy's campaign previously gave similar amounts to Trump than Kennedy-Biden donors. On a much larger scale, GOP megadonor Timothy Mellon gave a pro-Kennedy super PAC $5 million. A New York activist who had worked for Kennedy's campaign also talked up a potential alliance between the former president and the candidate whose name is synonymous with the Democratic Party.

Trump has never styled himself as a traditional conservative like his former vice president, Mike Pence. The former president has also expressed uneasiness about the COVID-19 vaccines, even though the Trump administration was instrumental in creating "Operation Warp Speed," which accelerated vaccine development.

It looks like Trump's allies are already aware of the potentially perilous position he's in: The New York Times reported earlier in April that the former president's associates are going to try to paint Kennedy as a "champion for choice" in an attempt to siphon votes from abortion-access advocates away from Biden.

In July 2023 — back when Kennedy was still running as a Democrat — he had a higher disapproval rating than approval when polling Democratic voters. At the same time, his Republican backing appeared to skyrocket, jumping to 50% of GOP respondents saying they viewed him favorably compared to 27% unfavorably.

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