New Dem Challenger To Biden Making Larger Waves Than Expected

[Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Joe Biden got some bad news earlier in the week. According to Politico, his poll numbers for reelection are “grim.” That was before he received a challenger in the primary who is already polling in double figures, always a bad sign for a sitting president. 

The outlet writes, “Biden has not yet officially announced he’s running again next year, though he has said he plans to. Polls show his approval rating is hovering in the low 40s, right around the mark where some of his predecessors who were denied second terms sat at this point of their presidencies.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Biden’s average approval rating stands at 43 percent, about 9 points lower than his 52 percent disapproval rating. That’s only 1 point higher than Trump’s FiveThirtyEight approval rating on April 15, 2019, at the same point in his one-term presidency.

Determining the extent to which Biden’s poor job rating endangers his likely reelection bid is not just an academic exercise. A deep dive into the numbers reveals Biden isn’t just struggling with independents and near-unanimous disapproval among Republicans. He’s also soft among Democrats and left-leaning demographic groups, a weakness that suggests a diminished enthusiasm for his candidacy — though something that could be papered over by partisan voting patterns in the general election.

That’s because the possible “alternative” to Biden next November could be Trump, whose personal favorability ratings are generally worse than Biden’s. Even as Trump has expanded his lead in the GOP presidential primary, he remains less popular than his Oval Office successor.”

USA Today reported that “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launches his unlikely bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday with the support of 14% of voters who backed President Joe Biden in 2020, an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds.

That is surprising strength for a candidate who has a famous political name but is now known mostly as the champion of a debunked conspiracy theory blaming childhood vaccines for autism.

In the survey taken Saturday through Tuesday, only 67% of Biden’s 2020 supporters said they would support him for the Democratic nomination over his current challengers. Kennedy stands at 14%, and self-help author Marianne Williamson, a quixotic candidate for the nomination last time, is at 5%. Another 13% are undecided.”

There may be more room for Kennedy’s skepticism toward vaccines to grow. Many liberals are anti-vaccine, which is why in 2015, there was a large outbreak in liberal Marin County, California after left-leaning parents refused to vaccinate their children. 

The Conversation wrote, “As to whether liberals or conservatives are now more likely to be opposed to vaccination, some researchers have suggested that, while anti-vaccination beliefs have spread to libertarians on the right, the anti-vaccination movement originates and finds its strongest support in the political left. A later article by the same researchers similarly argues that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence shows that states that voted for Obama in 2012 have higher rates of nonmedical vaccination exemptions.”

Of course, Vice President Kamala Harris tapped into liberal skepticism of vaccines, seeming to agree with RFK Jr in 2016: 

The way liberal outlets have covered Kennedy makes one think they’re at least slightly worried. Here’s how The New York Times discussed RFK, Jr.’s announcement: 

“More than half a century after his father sought the White House to end a calamitous war in Vietnam and to salve the country’s racial wounds, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced a presidential campaign on Wednesday built on re-litigating Covid-19 shutdowns and shaking Americans’ faith in science.

Mr. Kennedy, a California resident, traveled to Boston, once the citadel of his family’s power, to declare that he would challenge President Biden for the Democratic nomination in a long-shot bid for the White House.

Appearing at the Park Plaza Hotel — a favorite fund-raising venue of his uncle Ted Kennedy’s — he sought to wrap himself in the Kennedy political luster.

In a rambling speech lasting nearly two hours, Mr. Kennedy, 69, evoked his father’s 1968 campaign and death, and spoke in detail about his career as an environmental lawyer decades ago. He also aimed criticisms at the pharmaceutical industry, big social media companies that he accused of censorship, Mr. Biden’s commitment to the war in Ukraine and former President Donald J. Trump’s “lockdown” of the country early in the pandemic.”

Fox News covered what the new entrant actually said in his speech without editorializing to help the president. “Kennedy, 69, hails from one of the country’s most well-known political families. “His father, Robert F. Kennedy, was a senator and U.S. attorney general. His uncle was President Kennedy. 

In announcing his long-shot candidacy for president Wednesday, Kennedy vowed to ‘end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power that is threatening now to impose a new kind of corporate feudalism on our country.’

His campaign platform emphasizes civil liberties, transparency in government, economic revitalization and issues Kennedy says will unite Americans.

“During this campaign and during my administration my objective will be to make as many Americans as possible forget that they are Republicans or Democrats and remember that they are Americans,” Kennedy said. “We need to focus on the values we share instead of the issues that divide us.”

2020 Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson also joins Kennedy and Biden as the three declared candidates for the Democratic nomination. 

[Read More: Fox News Host Gets The Boot]


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