Anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr’s third-party bid for the presidency in 2024 presents a massive problem for former President Donald Trump, according to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released Wednesday.
In a two-way matchup between President Joe Biden and Trump, Biden received 49% support to Trump’s 46%. Among independents, though, Trump has a 6 point lead over Biden 49%–46%. Both candidates receive 91% support from their respective parties.
In a three-way race with Kennedy both candidates took a hit, but it’s worse for Trump.
In a three-way race, President Biden’s 3 point lead over Trump increased to 7 points. 44% of registered voters support Biden, 37% back Trump, and 16% are for Kennedy.
With Kennedy in the race, Biden’s support among independents dropped 9 points to 33 percent while Trump’s support dropped 15 points to 34 percent.
Among Democrats, Biden’s support dropped 5 points to 86 percent, and Trump’s dropped 10 points to 81 percent among Republicans.
Kennedy announced earlier this month that he was dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary to run for president as an independent. 29 percent of independents in the poll say they would support him for president if elections were held today.
“Kennedy’s presence erodes Trump’s lead among independents and cuts into his support among Republicans,” pollsters noted. “Trump’s loss among his base is double the loss Biden experiences among Democrats.”
The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll was conducted on Oct. 11, 2023 through phone, text or online interviews of 1,313 adults, including 1,218 registered voters. It has a margin of error of ± 3.8 percentage points.