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Robert F Kennedy Jr has qualified for his first 2024 ballot

Mr Kennedy met the signature threshold, making the Utah the first state in which he has qualified

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 03 January 2024 15:37 GMT
RFK Jr confronted with conspiracy theories in interview

Independent 2024 candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr has garnered enough signatures to qualify for the Utah presidential ballot.

This is the first state in which Mr Kennedy has qualified, the Associated Press reported, after meeting the 1,000-signature threshold.

The scion of America’s most famous political family announced in October that he was switching from running for the Democratic nomination to running as an independent candidate.

The third-party candidate is perhaps most known for his anti-vaxx stance — a position that he claims has been “constantly misrepresented.”

While he made headlines for his anti-vaxx views during the Covid-19 pandemic, he contested at a Congressional hearing that he is not, underscoring that he has taken every vaccine except for the Covid-19 shot.

At the same time, he is suing Google and YouTube — deemed “state actors” — for censoring his views on vaccinations.

Voters seem divided; FiveThirtyEight polls show Mr Kennedy with 38.5 per cent favourable opinion and 33.6 per cent unfavourable. Meanwhile, his own family has warned against supporting him.

In October, his sister Kerry Kennedy issued a statement, labelling his candidacy as “perilous to the country”. She wrote, “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment.”

Jack Schlossberg, John F Kennedy Jr’s grandson, posted a scathing Instagram video about his cousin’s candidacy: “I’ve listened to him, I know him. I have no idea why anyone thinks he should be president. What I do know is his candidacy is an embarrassment.”

Despite warnings from his family, as voters become increasingly disenchanted with the two major parties’ frontrunners — Donald Trump and Joe Biden — the door opens wider for third-party candidates.

A November Quinnipiac University poll showed that Mr Kennedy polled higher than both Mr Biden and Donald Trump among those aged 18 to 29.

Similarly, last month, the Wall Street Journal asked registered voters who they would support in a hypothetical seven-way race: Mr Kennedy came in third, with eight per cent.

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