Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) on Monday, Oct. 9, announced his independent candidacy for president, officially ending his effort to defeat President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary.
"I'm here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States," RFK Jr. said during a campaign event in Philadelphia.
The announcement comes after several weeks of speculation about RFK Jr.'s future in the 2024 field. He met with the chair of the Libertarian Party earlier this year to discuss their common beliefs. And last week, a super PAC supporting RFK Jr.'s presidential campaign released the results of a poll they conducted testing his strength in a hypothetical three-way race with Biden and former President Donald Trump.
In a video posted on YouTube on Oct. 1, RFK Jr. invited Americans to join him for a "major announcement" in Philadelphia. He decried corruption within both parties and expressed his disillusionment with the current state of American politics.
With Trump facing four criminal prosecutions and Biden facing economic issues and a possible impeachment inquiry, RFK Jr. could pull off an upset.
RFK Jr.'s decision to run as an independent candidate has injected fresh uncertainty into the 2024 presidential race, leaving both major parties to navigate a complex political landscape with potentially game-changing consequences.
Gallup survey shows 63% of American adults believe the U.S. needs a third major political party
Meanwhile, a new Gallup survey reveals that 63 percent of American adults believe that the U.S. needs a third major political party due to the unsatisfying and poor performance of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
This marks a seven-point increase in 2022 and represents the highest level of support for a third party since 2003. The poll also shows low favorability ratings for both major political parties for the past two decades.
Moreover, the poll shows that 58 percent of Republicans would support a third U.S. political party compared to 45 percent in 2022. The Democrats have also increased their support for a third party, rising from 40 percent to 46 percent this year.
The only other time more Republicans backed a third party was in early 2021, following the Jan. 6 riots, the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump and the inauguration of incumbent President Joe Biden. In short, more Republicans are willing to support a third party than last year.
For the past two decades, the majority of U.S. adults have consistently wanted a third party. In 2003, only 40 percent called for a third party, but in 2017 it became 61 percent and 62 percent in 2021 shortly after the January 2021 Capitol Hill riots.
None of the emerging third political parties are as powerful as the Republican and Democratic parties. But the U.S. now has a formidable third presidential candidate in RFK Jr.