Photo: Sam Greene ~ USA TODAY NETWORK
GRAND RAPIDS, Feb. 9, 2024 ~ Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a controversial independent candidate for president, is set to visit Michigan Saturday in a bid to expand his currently limited ballot access.
He will hold a rally from 2-3:30 on Feb. 10, 2 – 3:30 p.m. at St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids, visiting a state where the candidate has yet to make it on the general election ballot. Despite the uphill climb to get on the ballot nationwide and his tendency to platform conspiracies, Kennedy has garnered notable attention and approval from voters due to high disapproval of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.
Feb. 9, 2024 ~ Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., joins Kevin Dietz and Tom Jordan ahead of his Grand Rapids rally to share why he wants to be the next president of the United States.
(CONTINUED) Kennedy originally ran in the Democrat primary before switching to an independent candidate in October of last year, seemingly chasing a more right-wing platform with the move. Politicians and analysts have also raised concerns that Kennedy may act as a spoiler candidate to both Biden’s and Trump’s campaigns.
Currently, he has about a 40% approval rating, according to Five Thirty-Eight, topping Biden and Trump. While polls in November showed that Kennedy would have received 22% if the election had been held then, he has tapered off in recent polls that show he, and independent candidates altogether, would gain only about 10% of the national vote this coming November.
However, Kennedy has faced condemnation for promoting conspiracy theories before and during his campaign, most notably spouting anti-vaccine rhetoric and COVID-19 conspiracies. He repeated the debunked myth that vaccines cause autism and sparked claims of antisemitism and racism when he said that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to avoid Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people. He has also falsely claimed that certain chemicals could make children transgender, that mass shootings are related to prescription drugs like Prozac, and expressed doubt that al-Qaeda was the real perpetrator of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Currently, Kennedy has qualified for only two state ballots: Utah and New Hampshire, totaling just 10 electoral votes. While he has garnered write-in status for a handful of other state ballots, he still has a long way to go in becoming electorally viable.