While Joe Biden seems to be the undisputed frontrunner in the Democratic Party, it does not mean that all Democrats approve of his candidacy. The major players such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or even Amy Klobuchar did not declare their candidacy. However, some high profiles within the liberal camp are challenging Biden’s leadership. These high profiles mainly include Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; the son of U.S. Senator for New York, Former U.S. Attorney General, and brother of then-President John F. Kennedy; Robert Francis Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968.
In a recent interview, Robert Kennedy, Jr. claimed that he could beat Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Ron DeSantis to become the next president of the United States. As a matter of fact, Democrats are growing concerned that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s profile is rising just as President Biden embarks on a challenging campaign to keep the White House out of Republican control.
Kennedy appears as the anti-establishment of the Democratic Party. Indeed, Kennedy, an anti-vaccine proponent who launched a primary bid against Biden this spring, is doing unexpectedly well in some polls and receiving increasing media attention as a result. He has also been on a press tour this week that included a Twitter Spaces discussion with Elon Musk and digital town hall with journalist Michael Smerconish.
Democrats widely consider Kennedy to be a problematic fringe candidate who freely spreads conspiracy theories. The mainstream media accuse Kennedy of spreading conspiracy theories on mass shootings, the election of 2004, the CIA’s involvement in the assassination of JFK, the corruption within the pharmaceutical industry, and the fact that COVID-19 was a virus genetically engineered. Ironically, Trump’s campaign is damaged by his base’s belief in some of these claims, categorized as conspiracy theories. For example, Trump ought to be bosting about how his “operation warp speed” produced the vaccine in record time. But is hoisted by his own petard. The word vaccine rarely crosses his lips. Yet, he is proud enough of that record not to fan the conspiracy theory, which leaves an opening for the likes of RFK, Jr.
It cannot be easy to be the son of a national icon like Bobby Kennedy, whose death and whose brother John F. Kennedy's assassination, are themselves the continuing subject of speculative plots. But his relatively decent poll numbers as well as his media-ready image as an heir to the famous political dynasty, have caused some to worry he could gain stream and potentially distract from the task of reelecting Joe Biden in 2024.
A recent Fox News survey placed Kennedy at 16% support among registered voters. And a CNN poll released Friday shows him with 20% of support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents. RFK, Jr. asserted that he would take a stricter approach to immigration that puts him closer to former President Trump, as he is planning on looking into ways that “will seal the border permanently.”
Democrats have mostly waved off Kennedy’s campaign as a mere distraction. In recent days, however, some have become more upset and outright dismissive about his fondness and espousing theories about politics and science without reliable evidence.
It is, however, hard to believe that Kennedy will defeat Biden for the nomination. The President has rejigged the Democratic primary calendar to put South Carolina first, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire. As in 2020, South Carolina is very likely to deliver Biden a landslide.