RFK Jr.'s Strategic Alliance with Minor Parties Boosts Ballot Access

Exploring Kennedy's multifaceted electoral strategy for the 2024 race

by Zain ul Abedin
RFK Jr.'s Strategic Alliance with Minor Parties Boosts Ballot Access
© Mario Tama/Getty Images

In a strategic shift within the political landscape, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, has been actively seeking alliances with minor political parties across the United States in a bid to secure ballot access for the 2024 election.

This tactic, although not entirely novel, highlights a significant effort by a candidate outside the traditional two-party system to influence the electoral process and gain a foothold in several key states. Kennedy's approach involves aligning with smaller parties that already possess ballot access, thereby sidestepping the typically arduous and costly process of collecting thousands of signatures required for independent candidates.

This method has seen success in states like Michigan and California, where Kennedy will appear on the ballot as the nominee for the Natural Law Party and the American Independent Party, respectively. However, not all attempts at forging such partnerships have been fruitful.

The Alaskan Independence Party, which convened in Fairbanks for their biennial meeting, opted not to nominate Kennedy. Despite serious consideration, the decision was influenced by party members who expressed concerns about aligning their secessionist aims with Kennedy’s campaign.

The strategy, however, extends beyond individual states. Kennedy's team has been in discussions with minor parties in at least six other states, exploring potential endorsements and nominations that could facilitate his inclusion on more ballots.

This ongoing effort underscores the campaign's recognition of these minor entities as viable vehicles to elevate their candidate’s national profile.

Kennedy's Strategic Challenges

Despite these strategic moves, Kennedy’s campaign faces challenges.

In Colorado, for example, the Unity Party chose to nominate Cornel West over Kennedy, illustrating the competitive nature of such alliances. Yet, more receptive parties like the Alliance Party are in preliminary talks to potentially support Kennedy, indicating a mixed but ongoing engagement with various party leaders across the country.

Kennedy's unique position in this election cycle is also highlighted by his formation of a new party, We the People, aimed at securing ballot access in states like Delaware, Hawaii, and North Carolina, where the threshold is lower for party-affiliated candidates.

This move, while strategic, also reflects the broader difficulties faced by independent candidates in navigating the complex U.S. electoral system. Polling suggests Kennedy could impact the dynamics of the presidential race, particularly in a tight contest between major candidates like Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll indicates Kennedy garnering 12% support in a hypothetical multi-candidate scenario, signaling potential to influence the election outcome significantly. Kennedy’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment regarding these developments.

His approach, combining direct nominations by minor parties with the creation of a new political party, represents a multifaceted strategy that underscores the challenges and opportunities for independent candidates in the American political arena.

This electoral season may set a precedent for how future candidates outside the traditional party system engage with the electoral process, leveraging lesser-known parties to circumvent conventional barriers to entry.