New poll reveals which presidential candidate RFK Jr. would "spoil" in November

Washington DC - A new poll is giving insight into how presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. would do in the upcoming presidential election and whether he would serve to "spoil" Democrat Joe Biden or Republican Donald Trump.

A recent poll revealed that when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (r.) is placed on ballots, he draws more support from Donald Trump (c.) than President Joe Biden (l.)
A recent poll revealed that when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (r.) is placed on ballots, he draws more support from Donald Trump (c.) than President Joe Biden (l.)  © Collage: Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP, ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS & JOSH EDELSON / AFP

On Sunday NBC News published the results of the poll, which was conducted April 12-16, surveying 1,000 registered voters across the nation.

The first part of the poll presented voters with a matchup between Trump and Biden alone, where the former was projected to beat the Democratic incumbent by 2 points.

But the second part revealed different results when more candidates were added to the matchup.

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In a lineup that also included RFK, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Independent Cornel West, Biden took the lead over Trump by 2 points.

Upon diving deeper into the new results, the outlet found that 15% of those voting for Trump in a two-way matchup would jump ship to RFK if he was on the ballot compared to 7% of Biden voters doing the same.

Republicans in general held a 40% favorable view of Kennedy compared to only 16% of Democrats.

The results, which come as Kennedy has been facing heightened criticism from both sides of the aisle for being a potential "spoiler" candidate for either one of his challengers, contradict previous numbers that showed him harming Biden's efforts.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s numerous controversies as a presidential candidate

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaking to the media at a Cesar Chavez Day event in Los Angeles, California on March 30, 2024.
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaking to the media at a Cesar Chavez Day event in Los Angeles, California on March 30, 2024.  © MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

RFK originally began his campaign last year as a Democrat but, after failing to resonate with the base, he came out as an Independent.

Critics have argued that RFK's failure stemmed from his aggressive anti-vaccine advocacy and penchant for conspiracy theories, which tend to appeal more to the far right than to the left.

Kennedy also tends to pitch a very doom-and-gloom perception of America and the government that many have compared to Trump's rhetoric, and he has loosely defended the former president on numerous occasions – most recently refusing to call the January 6 Capitol riots an "insurrection."

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Trump seems to recognize Kennedy as a threat, as he recently tried to push the idea that the Independent is actually "the most radical left candidate in the race."

Throughout Kennedy's run, members of his own family – including his sister Kerry and other siblings – have openly criticized his questionable rhetoric.

Last week, President Biden was joined by dozens of members of the Kennedy family, who endorsed him over RFK during a rally in Pennsylvania.

The NBC poll also found that voter interest in the 2024 election is at a 20-year low, with only 64% of voters saying they are "very interested" in the race.

Cover photo: Collage: Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP, ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS & JOSH EDELSON / AFP

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