Apr 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

RFK Jr. gains ballot access in Michigan, campaign says

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks during a campaign event to announce his pick for a running mate on March 26

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at a campaign event in California on March 26. Photo: Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The Democratic National Committee

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has gained ballot access in Michigan for the 2024 presidential election, his campaign announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Michigan is a key battleground state in 2024, where polls show President Biden and former President Trump appear to be neck and neck — leaving room for Kennedy and running mate Nicole Shanahan to throw a curveball into the state's race.

  • Kennedy has been polling better than any independent candidate in decades.

What they're saying: "The party has filed all necessary documents with the state, putting the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket on the ballot in Michigan this fall," the campaign said in a press release Thursday.

  • Kennedy has been waging an uphill battle to get his independent presidential bid on the ballot in states across the country.
  • He had already officially qualified to appear on the presidential ballot in Utah and has collected enough signatures to appear on the ballots in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii, Iowa and Nebraska, according to his campaign.

State of play: Kennedy initially began his run for president as a Democrat but switched to an independent bid last fall.

  • A descendant of one of America's most famous political families, Kennedy gained prominence as a critic of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was temporarily banned from various social media platforms after being accused of spreading vaccine misinformation.
  • He also criticized U.S. funding for Ukraine.
  • Other members of the Kennedy family are planning to endorse Biden at an event later this week.

Zoom out: Trump won Michigan back in 2016 but lost the state to Biden in 2020.

Go deeper: Biden, Trump deploy contrasting strategies on RFK Jr.

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