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IPFS News Link • Politics: Independent and Other Campaigns

RFK Jr.'s Impact? Advantage: Trump

•, By Matt Kane

He has gained some likability among conservatives for his stance on two issues: vaccine safety and his pledge to take on the Deep State.  If you are going to check just two boxes, exposing the Deep State corruption and vaccine risks are certainly worthy issues.  However, RFK Jr. is far from conservative, a Republican, or even a satisfactory alternative to an America First candidate for voters seeking one, nor is he trying to be. 

Kennedy himself would admit he is ideologically liberal on most issues.  This is why, despite claims by both Kennedy and a small portion of the "right" claiming he would take more votes from Trump, he will most likely take significantly more from Biden.  To understand why, a brief look into the history of the most significant Independent presidential campaigns in U.S. history is crucial before digging into present issues.

There have been two independent campaigns since 1900 that parallel how 2024 appears to be shaping up: 1912 and 1992.  George Wallace's 1968 campaign was another significant third-party run, but Kennedy's campaign won't feature any stance so drastically different from the two major-party candidates to separate himself as Wallace's did by opposing desegregation, which resonated strongly with the southeast United States and separated him from Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. 

So 1912 and 1992 stand as the closest points of reference for 2024.  Each of the independent candidates in those years entered the race with a following or fame, as Kennedy did this year.  In 1912, former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt challenged incumbent Republican president William Taft.  Roosevelt ran as a member of the Progressive Party after controversially losing the Republican nomination to Taft.  While they went on to combine for 50 percent of the popular vote, voters of the two were split 27-23%, paving the way for Democrat nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency with just 41% of the vote. 

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