RFK Jr.'s 2024 Election Impact Hinges on Ballot Access Status

Exploring the dynamics of RFK Jr.'s unconventional presidential run.

by Nouman Rasool
RFK Jr.'s 2024 Election Impact Hinges on Ballot Access Status
© Mario Tama/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., amidst concerns from his own family and vocal opposition from Democrats wary of his potential to tilt the balance in a tight race, is steadfastly advancing his campaign to secure a spot on ballots nationwide.

This move is pivotal for Kennedy, whose presence in the 2024 presidential election could redraw the lines in a high-stakes rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Kennedy confidently stated in a recent CNN interview that securing ballot access across all states, including critical battleground ones where Trump and Biden previously clinched narrow victories, poses "no problem" for his campaign.

However, to date, only Utah has officially placed him on the ballot. Running as an independent, Kennedy faces the unique challenge of meeting diverse signature requirements—ranging from approximately 900 to 42,000—to qualify for ballot inclusion in each state.

Despite public polls depicting him as a long shot for the presidency, Kennedy's campaign has ignited interest among voters disillusioned with the major party nominees. An early January ABC News/Ipsos poll highlighted a significant 37% of adults open to considering a third-party candidate amidst the Biden-Trump face-off.

Kennedy's Campaign Controversy

Kennedy's independent bid is gaining traction and scrutiny, particularly from Democrats who label him a "spoiler" likely to divert Biden supporters, potentially facilitating Trump's reelection.

Nonetheless, Kennedy remains undeterred, presenting his campaign as a distinct alternative to both Biden and Trump. He recently dispelled the notion that his choice of Silicon Valley attorney Nicole Shanahan as his running mate was financially motivated, emphasizing the campaign's independent fundraising capabilities.

While confirmation of ballot access is limited to Utah, Kennedy's campaign and supporting Super PAC, American Values 2024, assert sufficient signatures have been collected to qualify in eight additional states. Efforts are ongoing to meet the requirements in states like Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Hawaii, despite facing legal and procedural hurdles.

In states critical to the 2020 election outcome, such as Arizona and Georgia, Kennedy's campaign is diligently working towards meeting the submission deadlines. These efforts underscore the potential impact Kennedy could have in swaying the election's outcome, especially in battleground states where margins of victory were slim.