The poll, which was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) alongside PBS and NPR, surveyed more than 1,300 adults on Oct. 11. Based on its results, 49 percent of registered voters would pick Biden while 46 percent would pick former President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, five percent remain undecided.
But putting RFK Jr. in the equation changes the landscape as the Children's Health Defense founder gets 16 percent support from respondents. Biden sees a five-point drop (from 49 percent to 44) percent, but Trump suffers a bigger nine-point drop (from 46 percent to 37 percent).
According to YourNews, RFK Jr.'s decision to run as an independent also has repercussions along party lines.
"The presence of RFK Jr. on the ticket seems to impact Republican support for Trump significantly," it pointed out. "The survey found a notable 10-point decline among Republican voters when Kennedy is considered as an option."
Among independent voters, the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy entering the race has also affected Trump negatively. Forty-nine percent of voters say they prefer the real estate mogul-turned-chief executive, six points ahead of Biden's 43 percent support if they go head-to-head.
With RFK Jr. in the equation, Trump drops 15 points (from 49 percent to 34 percent) while Biden drops 10 points (from 43 percent to 33 percent). The independent candidate garners a notable 29 percent, putting him in third place.
"Although it's always tricky to assess the impact of a third-party candidate, right now [RFK Jr.] alters the equation in Biden's favor," said Lee Miringoff, founder and current director of the MIPO.
He emphasized that a significant portion of voters are looking for an alternative to the traditional Republican and Democratic nominees. "What this does speak to, however, is that about one in six voters are looking for another option, especially independents."
RFK Jr. announced on Oct. 9 that he would run as an independent candidate at a campaign event in Philadelphia. This followed months of him claiming that the Democratic National Committee had been rigging the Democratic Party primaries to favor Biden, who is gunning for a second term.
"I'm here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States," he addressed his supporters who came to the City of Brotherly Love. RFK Jr. had previously insinuated that he would run under the Libertarian Party, but this did not come to fruition.
Incidentally, the Marist Poll contradicted the findings of an earlier survey. Virginia-based Echelon Insights shared the results of the poll on its official account on X.
One preview showed Trump having 46 percent of support against Biden's 43 percent, with 11 percent unsure of who to pick. Another preview showed how RFK Jr. running as an independent could change the landscape. In this scenario, Trump gets 40 percent of support, Biden gets 36 percent, RFK Jr. gets 14 percent and 10 percent remain unsure. (Related: Poll: RFK Jr. running as independent would help Trump, hurt Biden.)
A third preview of the survey's cross tabs posted by Echelon showed how much impact RFK Jr. could have on both Trump and Biden. The independent candidate could ultimately take 17 percent of Democratic votes, while he could take 11 percent among Republican votes. "In other words, Democrats are more negatively affected by a Kennedy independent run than Republicans are," Breitbart noted.
Visit RFKJr.news for more stories about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s performance in opinion polls as the 2024 election approaches.
Watch this One America News report about RFK Jr.'s announcement that he would run as an independent candidate.
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