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  /  News   /  RFK Jr. more popular with young voters, Republicans: NewsNation Poll

RFK Jr. more popular with young voters, Republicans: NewsNation Poll

(NewsNation) — Young voters and Republicans think more highly of independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. than the rest of the general public, according to a new NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll.

Roughly 42% of all respondents said they have a favorable view of Kennedy, but among voters between the ages of 18 to 34, that share jumps to 57%. Nearly half of Republicans surveyed (48%) said the same, compared to 43% of independents and 35% of Democrats.

“He can have an outsized impact on the race even if he can’t win,” said Scott Tranter, director of data science for Decision Desk HQ.

All that would have to happen is for Kennedy to pull one or two percent from either of his competitors in a swing state like Pennsylvania or Michigan to change the outcome for the White House, Tranter explained.

Political pundits continue to debate whether Kennedy’s longshot presidential bid poses a greater threat to President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump.

Could RFK Jr. be a spoiler for Trump’s presidential bid?

Younger voters tend to lean Democrat, which suggests Kennedy’s popularity with that group is worse for Biden. On the other hand, Republicans’ favorable view may be a bad sign for Trump.

Trump has gone after Kennedy recently, calling him a “wasted protest vote” and a “Radical Left Liberal who’s been put in place in order to help Crooked Joe Biden.”

In response, Kennedy called on Trump to debate, writing on X, “When frightened men take to social media they risk descending into vitriol, which makes them sound unhinged.”

Trump leads in 3-way race with Biden, RFK Jr.: Poll

As far as actual voting intentions, the NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll found Democrats (26%) are more likely than Republicans (23%) to back a third-party candidate now that Biden and Trump are the presumptive nominees.

When asked to describe Kennedy’s political views, a plurality of those surveyed (30%) described him as a moderate. However, Democrats (31%) were more likely than others to view him as a conservative.

“The Biden campaign is going to try and paint him as a Republican, and then the Republican campaign is going to try and pay him as a Democrat,” said Tranter. “We’ll see where it comes out.”

The Hill/Decision Desk HQ’s polling average index currently shows Trump (42.3%) with a slight lead over Biden (41%) when Kennedy is factored in. Other surveys, like a recent NBC News poll, suggest Kennedy could hurt Trump more than Biden.

Kennedy, a longtime environmental lawyer, was running for the Democratic nomination before launching a third-party bid in October. Since then, he’s been fighting to get on the ballot in states nationwide, recently qualifying in California.

In March, Kennedy announced Nicole Shannan, a tech lawyer and philanthropist, as his running mate.

Trump has yet to announce his VP pick, but several people are said to be in the running, including Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, to name a few.