(RightWing.org) – Presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy Jr has reached the bar to appear on this year’s presidential ballot in Utah. This is the first state Kennedy has qualified in, making it a significant step forward for his campaign. He has no chance of winning the election, but the maverick independent could shake things up for either of the main candidates.
On January 3, RFK Jr, the son of the late senator and US Attorney General Robert F Kennedy and nephew of assassinated president John F Kennedy, formally filed as a presidential candidate with the Utah elections office. Campaign spokeswoman Stefanie Spear confirmed that Kennedy had reached the threshold of 1,000 signatures to appear on the ballot. This was a welcome result for Kennedy; the state’s deadline for collecting the signatures was originally January 8, but Kennedy had sued to extend that, arguing it was unfair. In fact, he made the deadline comfortably.
Kennedy had originally hoped to challenge President Biden for the Democratic Party nomination but soon withdrew when it became obvious the party establishment wouldn’t support him. Opting to run as an independent means he doesn’t have to fight the incumbent through the primary process, but it also means he faces a struggle to get himself on the ballot in every state. The qualification thresholds vary wildly between states. In Louisiana, he just has to pay a $500 fee and nominate eight volunteer voters. In Utah, he had to collect 1,000 signatures, and to qualify in California, he needs to collect signatures from 1% of registered voters –- almost 200,000 people.
If Kennedy does make it to the ballot in all 50 states, he could seriously disrupt things for the likely major party candidates, Biden and former president Donald Trump. One poll shows him gaining up to 22% in a three-way White House race, compared to 38% for Biden and 36% for Trump. Take Kennedy out of the picture, and Trump gets 47%, leaving him slightly ahead of Biden, who has 46%. Kennedy himself says he’s playing to win, but the reality is he’s a wild card that could end the hopes of either major candidate.
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