The countdown to the 2024 election got a jolt when on Monday Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his candidacy as an independent and posed as a primary challenge for President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump. This move has triggered a barrage of attacks from Trump and his team as the Republicans fear that Kennedy could gnaw into Trump’s support.
Until now, the elections had been all about Biden going against Trump, but Kennedy’s decision opened up a new and volatile chapter. The GOP, though, is not alone in their anxiety. The prospect of at least two more independent candidates on the ballot next year has created an unprecedented new level of uncertainty for both parties.
Like Kennedy, Cornel West, the progressive scholar and activist, who was expected to claim nomination from Green Party, announced that he will be running in the elections on his own.
The unpredictability of the independent candidates has ushered a sense of uncertainty over the trajectory of the upcoming general elections. While the consensus largely remained that the independent candidates are likely to affect the vote bank of Biden more than his rival Trump, Kennedy’s announcement and departure from Democratic primary has some pro-Trump voters eyeing him warily.
Despite of no consensus of how Kennedy’s campaign will affect the former president, Republicans has allied with Trump to go all against the longtime Democrat and paint him as “liberal parading in conservative’s clothing,” said one advisor to CNN, citing his past record as an environmental activist.
“Voters should not be deceived by anyone who pretends to have conservative values. The fact is that RFK has a disturbing background steeped in radical, liberal positions,” stated Trump campaign’s spokesperson Steven Chaung.