RFK Jr. pulls more votes from Trump than Biden in three-way race: poll

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appears to pull more support from former President Trump than President Biden in a hypothetical general election matchup, according to a new poll.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed Biden narrowly ahead of Trump by 1 point, 47 percent to 46 percent, within the margin of error, in a head-to-head matchup. But with Kennedy in a three-way race, Biden is ahead with 39 percent to Trump’s 36 percent and Kennedy’s 22 percent. 

Pollsters found independents are almost evenly split among the three candidates, with 36 percent supporting Kennedy, 31 percent backing Trump and 30 percent with Biden. 

“With minority and younger voters seeming intrigued, Kennedy, for now, enjoys the kind of demographic support his charismatic father and uncles generated decades ago,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a release

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and prominent anti-vaccine activist, was running in the Democratic primaries against Biden until last month, when he declared himself an independent after struggling to make inroads against the incumbent. 

But he has appeared to shift to the right, especially since launching his independent run. Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a strong progressive and Kennedy’s original campaign manager, notably left his position just days after Kennedy announced he was switching affiliation.

Politico reported on Wednesday that Kennedy has been receiving donations from former Trump donors at a much higher rate than from former Biden donors, possibly signaling the risk for Republicans with his candidacy.

Other polls have found that Kennedy may hurt Trump more than Biden in a general election, including a USA Today/Suffolk University poll from last month that found Kennedy costs Trump what would be a narrow lead in a hypothetical race. 

The Quinnipiac poll found that adding progressive activist Cornel West, who is also running as an independent, for a four-way race, leaves Biden with a narrower lead than he had in the three-way race. He leads with 36 percent, while Trump has 35 percent, Kennedy has 19 percent and West has 6 percent.

The poll was conducted among 1,610 registered voters from Oct. 26-30. The margin of error was 2.4 points.