(USNewsMag.com) – In a historic move that could shake up both major parties in the 2024 presidential election, Big Pharma opponent and environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. held a rally on Monday where he declared that he would be dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination in the primaries and instead running as an independent candidate.
To a crowd of roughly 1,000 gathered in front of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kennedy announced he would be relaunching his campaign as an independent. Kennedy also officially left the Democratic Party.
Polls show that favorability ratings for Kennedy have been higher among Republicans than Democrats, and his own party has only worked against him. Ultimately, it’s not clear if support from the GOP will manifest in the voting booth come 2024. Both parties have expressed concern that Kennedy’s independent run could take votes away from their respective candidates. Kennedy himself addressed this during his speech, stating that he’d like to “spoil” the election for both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Many fans of Kennedy identified as independents themselves and viewed him as an honest candidate who meant what he said and who was willing to change his position on long-held beliefs when presented with new information. Kennedy himself noted in his speech how his position on the border shifted since he sought more information and went there to personally see the situation, although he didn’t necessarily take a hard position on how it should be dealt with.
Kennedy generated a lot of good favor among conservatives and moderates after he openly opposed the lockdowns and mandates of the 2020 pandemic, a decision that resulted in being censored on social media. Now he believes he can attract enough voters from both parties to win.
After declaring himself an independent candidate, Kennedy then officially declared his own independence from the Democratic Party, something he said was difficult for him to do. He noted how his family has been a prominent Democrat dynasty “for over 100 years,” from his father, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy (assassinated while running for president in 1968), and his uncle, John F. Kennedy (assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in 1963), to his uncle Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009.
Kennedy also announced his independent run in an op-ed explaining his decision, which was published by Fox News the same day.
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