RFK Jr. Would Cut Donald Trump’s Lead over Kamala Harris: Poll

Donald Trump’s lead over Kamala Harris in a hypothetical presidential contest between the two would be cut significantly if Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is also a candidate, according to a new survey.

The HarrisX poll of 1,500 registered voters found that in a straight matchup 49 percent would vote for Trump, 42 percent for Harris, with another nine percent unsure, giving the Republican a seven-point lead.

However, if Kennedy is also included as an independent candidate, Trump’s lead falls to just four points with him on 42 percent, against 38 percent for Harris, 15 percent for Kennedy and six percent unsure. The survey was conducted online between June 28 and 30, with a +/- 2.5 margin of error and includes some figures believed to be rounded up, not always adding up to 100 percent.

Newsweek has emailed HarrisX for comment.

Speculation over whether President Joe Biden will be replaced as the Democratic presidential candidate for November surged in the aftermath of his first debate with Trump on June 27, during which the 81-year-old incumbent at several points appeared to lose his train of thought. Consequently a number of prominent Democrats, including four members of Congress, urged Biden to step aside from the contest.

In the interview’s aftermath, vice president Kamala Harris replaced Biden as the most likely Democratic 2024 presidential nominee according to U.K. betting company William Hill.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Kennedy would cut Donald Trump’s lead over Kamala Harris in a hypothetical presidential contest, according to a new poll.

Kevin Dietsch/GETTY

Among those who watched the June 27 debate, the HarrisX survey found 67 percent thought Trump “had the best performance” of the two rivals, against 33 percent for Biden. With registered voters as a whole 44 percent said Trump performed best versus 18 percent for Biden, with another 33 percent saying “neither of them performed well” and five percent for “both performed equally well.”

Kennedy initially ran against Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the environmentalist and vaccine skeptic has since announced he is running as an independent. However, he is facing an uphill battle to get accepted onto the ballot in all 50 states.

During an interview with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo, Kennedy said that if Biden dropped out he would be open to being the Democratic nominee should the party be interested. He said: “Of course I would talk to them. It would put me on the ballot with nobody trying to get me off.”

Newsweek contacted the Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. campaigns for comment on Saturday outside of usual business hours.

Kennedy has been forced to deny eating dogs after a photograph of himself next to what appeared to be a barbecued body of a canine was published earlier this week by Vanity Fair.

A veterinarian consulted by the publication said the animal pictured was likely a dog because of its rib cage, but Kennedy insisted it was a goat.

On Friday night Kennedy’s campaign team sent out an email to media outlets titled “No, RFK Jr. Doesn’t Eat Dogs.”

It described the Vanity Fair article as a “hit piece” commenting: “They will stop at nothing to smear his character and divert attention from the real issue at hand.”