Mar 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

RFK Jr. nears major ballot wins in 3 battleground states

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hosts a fireside chat with rapper and producer Eric B. at The Gentleman's Factory on February 18, 2024 in New York City.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hosts a fireside chat at the Gentlemen's Factory on Feb. 18 in New York City. Photo: John Nacion/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has already qualified for the ballot in Utah, and he's poised to soon qualify in six more states, including three key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: President Biden and former President Trump are heading for a rematch, and Kennedy is expected to be on the general election ballot in states where the margins are likely to be tiny.

Driving the news: Kennedy's campaign said Tuesday that it cleared the signature threshold in Nevada, while his allied super PAC has already said sufficient signatures in Arizona and Georgia have been collected.

  • In Nevada, Biden beat former President Trump by fewer than 40,000 votes in 2020.
  • Biden won Arizona by fewer than 11,000 votes and Georgia by fewer than 12,000 votes in 2020.

Driving the news: Kennedy has already qualified for the ballot in Utah, and his campaign has filed the necessary signatures to be on the ballot in New Hampshire. Kennedy supporters collected the required signatures in Hawaii.

  • "Today marks the end of the primary and the beginning of the general election," Kennedy said on Tuesday.
  • "Nearly 70% of Americans don't want a Trump/Biden rematch from 2020. They want to vote for someone who represents hope and healing."

Zoom in: Kennedy switched from running as a Democrat to an independent in the fall.

  • He is an outspoken critic of vaccines who was banned from various social media platforms during the pandemic after being accused of spreading misinformation about vaccines.
  • Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.

Zoom out: The super PAC behind Kennedy's campaign, American Values 2024, said it has gathered enough signatures to get him on the ballot in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina, and it is closing in on Michigan.

  • The American Values super PAC pledged last year to spend up to $15 million on Kennedy's ballot access mission.
  • "We are currently prioritizing closing out Michigan and will focus on both Texas and New York when signature-gathering commences," AV24 said in a statement to Axios.

Between the lines: The DNC filed a complaint against Kennedy with the Federal Election Commission last month, alleging the campaign is illegally coordinating with the super PAC to secure ballot access.

  • "The DNC is using every dirty trick in their playbook and inventing new ones, spending millions in a futile attempt to keep Bobby Kennedy off the ballot," said Tony Lyons, co-founder AV24 and President of Skyhorse Publishing.

Go deeper: Colorado is a bright spot for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign

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