Robert Kennedy Jr. Drops Democratic Bid and Re-Enters as Independent – Will He Take More Votes From Trump or Biden?

By: Lauren Wurth | Published: Oct 17, 2023

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., popularly referred to as RFK Jr., has announced that he will no longer be running for president under the Democratic Party. If that was shocking news, what’s more surprising is that he wouldn’t be joining any right-wing parties either. 

Instead, he has declared his intention to contest the presidential seat under an independent candidacy. Take a look at how this story unfolds below.

RFK Jr.'s Declaration of Independence

“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Monday as he addressed a gathering of hundreds of supporters at a rally in Philadelphia.


Source: TheCalvinCooli1/X

“And that’s not all − I’m here to join you in making a new Declaration of Independence for our entire nation,” he added. Prior to this announcement, RFK Jr. had spent at least the last 6 months vying for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination.


RFK vs. The American Political System

In his speech, the 69-year-old anti-vaccination activist also expressed his intentions to rid his campaign of undue influence from formidable economic and political entities. They include corporations, technology and pharmaceutical companies, Wall Street, “mercenary media,” and military contractors.


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Robert implied that he didn’t believe the current two-party system in the country reflected the will of the vast majority of Americans.

A Well-Thought-Out Decision

Since RFK Jr. comes from a long line of democrats, leaving the Democratic Party was a painful decision. However, he noted that it was one he made after careful consideration.


Source: Sarah Westall

Robert believes that the current political system is corrupt and “robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future and our respect for each other.” He stated that the only way he can free the country from the shackles of tyranny is by first declaring his own independence from all political parties.

Robert Says He Stands for Constitutional Liberties

RFK’s latest declaration of independence makes him one of the two major third-party candidates in the 2024 presidential elections. The other candidate is Cornel West, who USA Today describes as a progressive activist and scholar.


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Robert F. Kennedy Jr has always been known to be an advocate for the “liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.” This move surely represents his life-long stance.

RFK's Family Criticizes His Move

Kerry Kennedy, Robert’s sister, has, in an unexpected twist, announced the family’s disapproval of her brother’s actions. She noted that his declaration of independence was “deeply saddening.”

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“We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country,” she wrote in a post on X and tagged the rest of the family, Rory Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.


More Heat From Kerry Kennedy

Kerry Kennedy criticized Robert’s move in very clear and strong terms. “The decision of our brother Bobby to run as a third-party candidate against Joe Biden is dangerous to our country,” she typed.

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“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.” While some commenters applauded her boldness, others were appalled at the way she threw her family member under the bus.


A Sure Victory for the Independent?

Although many people believe that RFK’s chances of winning the presidential elections are slim, he’s very optimistic. He stated that he’ll be the exception to the previous independent candidates that endured unsuccessful campaigns.

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In his words, “This time it’s going to be different because this time the independent is going to win.” Robert’s confidence is built on the fact that young voters are tired of the dishonesty and toxicity ravaging today’s political climate.


A Truly Independent Government

“I’m happy to say that the old political alignments are dissolving. The right and the left have become all mixed up anyhow,” Robert said. He has promised that the voters, instead of political forces, will drive his decisions as president if he wins the election.

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According to him, one of the things his political independence will help him achieve is a more peaceful and diplomatic foreign policy.


Will Robert's Decision Hurt Biden or Trump?

“They say my impact is only going to draw votes from the other candidates. The Democrats are frightened that I’m going to spoil the election for President Biden and the Republicans are frightened that I’m going to spoil it for President Trump,” RFK Jr. told his crowd of supporters.

Source: Outlook India

“The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them,” he added. This raises a serious question about the implications of his move for Joe Biden and Donald Trump, his major contenders.


What are the Polls Saying?

An October 3 Reuters/Ipsos poll created a hypothetical scenario where all three candidates contested for the presidency. The results showed that Trump and Biden tied at 35% while 14% of the votes were in favor of RFK Jr.

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According to skeptics, RFK Jr. doesn’t have a clearly defined label as he is a mix of both a “Kennedy Democrat,” and a Republican politician that could pull votes from the right.


A Liberal Democrat

Meanwhile, RFK describes himself as a “liberal Democrat.” For him, this means that he stands for civil liberties and is against war, corporate dominion, and censorship. “But I don’t know now − those are kind of Republican issues now, strangely,” he said.

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Reports suggest that RFK has increasing support from most US adults, including some Trump allies. We can’t wait to find out how this turns out for him.