Robert F. Kennedy Jr's 2024 White House bid was always a long shot. But the more voters get to know the anti-vax conspiracy theorist, the less they like him, The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports.
The Kennedy conundrum came to a head on Thursday when, despite warnings that it would backfire, the sixty-nine-year-old environmental lawyer accepted Republicans' invitation to testify before the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
The spectacle, Blake notes, was "impossible to separate from conservative media's own effort to play up Kennedy's campaign. Fox News has devoted extensive attention to Kennedy on the air and its website, publishing more than 80 articles and videos about him since his campaign launch in April."
The impacts of Kennedy's fringe platform, explains Blake, are evident in the latest rounds of polling, including those that were conducted prior to Kennedy's congressional appearance.
"Quinnipiac University released a poll Wednesday showing Republicans continue to like Kennedy — by more than a 2-to-1 margin, in fact. But among Democrats, Kennedy's image was more than 2-to-1 negative. While 21 percent had a favorable opinion, 47 percent had an unfavorable one. That’s 26 points 'underwater,' up from 15 points underwater a month ago," Blake writes.
"A new poll out of New Hampshire is even worse for Kennedy," Blake continues. "The University of New Hampshire Survey Center in April showed him 22 points underwater among likely Democratic primary voters; its latest poll now shows him 60 points underwater." UNH found that "just 9 percent had a favorable opinion of Kennedy, compared with 69 percent who had an unfavorable one. The survey also asked people to use one word to describe Kennedy, and the most popular words were 'crazy,' 'dangerous,' 'insane,' 'nutjob,' 'conspiracy,' and 'crackpot.'"
Blake concludes that "these are not the numbers of someone who is seriously competing for the nomination."
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.