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Former Obama Adviser Optimistic About RFK Jr.’s Support for Biden

Jim Messina (Credits: Jim Messina)

Jim Messina, the strategist behind former President Obama’s successful 2012 reelection campaign, offered insights into early polling trends for the 2024 race, indicating favorable signs for President Biden.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, Messina highlighted the emergence of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and its potential impact on the electoral landscape.

Despite close poll numbers between Biden and former President Trump, Messina emphasized the positive trajectory evident in the trend lines.

Barack Obama (Credits: ThoughtCo)

He noted a crucial factor in understanding the race: third-party candidates, particularly Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Messina suggested that recent polling data indicates Kennedy may draw more support from Trump than from Biden.

Analyzing campaign strategy, Messina underscored the importance of monitoring voter preferences and assessing where Kennedy’s candidacy might influence the race. He suggested that Kennedy’s positions, including being perceived as anti-choice and anti-vaccine, may resonate more with Trump supporters than with Biden’s base.

Citing a recent NBC News poll, Messina highlighted Republican respondents’ greater favorability toward Kennedy compared to Democrats. The poll also indicated that among voters inclined toward Trump, a remarkable percentage would consider switching their support to Kennedy over Biden.

The poll results depicted a dynamic where Trump narrowly leads Biden in a head-to-head matchup, but Biden gains a slight advantage when third-party candidates are included.


RFK Jr. (Credits: The New York Times)

In response to Kennedy’s candidacy, the Biden campaign has intensified efforts to counter him, emphasizing endorsements from prominent members of the Kennedy family. Kennedy lacks endorsements from his own influential political lineage, raising questions about his broader support within the Democratic Party.

Focus has centered on Kennedy’s stance on abortion rights, an issue where his position remains ambiguous. Concerns about potential restrictions on abortion access, hinted at by Kennedy and his running mate Nicole Shanahan, have prompted scrutiny and prompted advocacy efforts from abortion rights groups like Reproductive Freedom for All.

As the 2024 race reveals, the interplay between major-party candidates and third-party contenders like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will continue to shape the electoral landscape, influencing strategic decisions and messaging from both sides.

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