Kennedy, a headache for Biden's re-election campaign

When the independent candidate is included in the polls, Trump's lead widens over five points.

Robert Kennedy Jr. is becoming more than a nuisance for Joe Biden, as indicated by the latest polls. While Donald Trump holds just a 0.4% lead on average over Biden in a head-to-head matchup (44.6-44.2%), the margin widens by over five points when the independent candidate is factored into the equation. What's most concerning for Democrats is that the presence of their former party aspirant, who has 7.9% of the support, significantly erodes the president's lead. This was evident when a dozen members of the Kennedy family attended a Biden event last Thursday to express their support for the Democratic candidate and distance themselves from Robert.

In fact, according to Real Clear Politics, which reports on all the polls, the last comprehensive poll including all three candidates that favored Biden goes back to December of last year. Conducted by the University of Quinnipiac between December 12-14, it showed Biden leading by two points over his Republican rival (38% to 36%) with Kennedy obtaining a considerable 22% of the support.

Emerson says Kennedy hurts Biden more than Trump

Recent polls indicate a narrowing gap between Trump and Biden, although the presence of Robert Kennedy Jr. on the ballots continues to pose a greater threat to the Democratic candidate than to the Republican, according to Emerson. The most recent Emerson poll, comparing results with and without the independent candidate, predicts Trump will win in both scenarios. In a head-to-head matchup, Trump would get 46% of the votes compared to Biden's 43%. With Kennedy in the mix, Trump's lead would decrease by two points, while Biden's support would drop by three points. RFK would get 8% of the vote.

10% of Democratic voters would choose Kennedy over Biden

On April 8, an I&I/TIPP poll showed Biden three points ahead of his opponent (43-40). However, when including Kennedy, Cornel West (independent) and Jill Stein (Green Party candidate), the two leading candidates would be tied at 38 points and Kennedy would have 11% of the vote. Interestingly, analyzing voter tendencies reveals that 10% of the Democratic Party supporters would back Kennedy compared to 4% of the conservatives.

Rasmussen Reports indicates Kennedy hurts both frontrunners

Meanwhile, Rasmussen Reports forecasts a clear victory for Trump in both a head-to-head matchup with Biden (49-41) and when including Kennedy. In this scenario, the independent candidate's 10% support negatively impacts both major candidates, reducing Trump's support to 44% and leaving Biden at 38%. If Cornel West and Jill Stein were also included, Trump would secure 45% of the vote while Biden would have 38%.

State-by-state polls show Kennedy's impact on Biden's campaign

When examining individual state-level polling, we can clearly see the significant impact Kennedy has on his former party. According to Franklin&Marshall, Biden is a strong favorite in the state in a head-to-head matchup against Trump (48-38). However, if the independent candidate is added, Biden's lead narrows to just two points (42-40), with Kennedy securing 9% of the vote. Interestingly, Trump's support increases from 38% to 40% with Kennedy in the race, while Biden's support drops from 48% to 42%. An exception to this trend is seen in Fox's polling for Wisconsin, which indicates a tie between Biden and Trump in a head-to-head matchup, but Biden would win when the remaining contenders are included.