Less than a year out from the 2024 presidential election, the most compelling figure in the race hasn’t won his party’s nomination.
He hasn’t even been on a debate stage with his rivals.
But a poll released Tuesday shows former President Donald Trump sweeping six states among voters surveyed — and the biggest name among third-party candidates so far is cutting into President Joe Biden’s support.
According to the poll by the London-based international group Redfield and Wilton Strategies, Trump leads Biden in the states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
This is a big deal.
To be fair, a Trump win would be expected in Florida, which has gone from purple to staunchly red after a generation of Republican control over the state government. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s second closest competitor for the GOP nomination, won re-election there in 2022 by nearly 60 percent of the vote, making the current politics of the Sunshine State a “battleground” for Democrats in the sense that a game against the Harlem Globetrotters is a “battleground” for the Washington Generals.
North Carolina has also been fairly safe ground for Republicans in recent years, as Politico reported in January, despite perennial Democratic vows to make it competitive. The last Democrat to win the state, according to Politico, was Barack Obama in 2008. Even he didn’t win it on his second try.
But it’s the other states — legitimately battleground, up-for-grabs, electorate-that-looks-like-America states — that should have Democrats losing sleep.
And a man named Robert F. Kennedy Jr. should be giving them nightmares.
The poll released Tuesday was the second of a planned monthly series.
According to Redfield and Wilton poll released in October, Biden managed to tie Trump at 41 percent of the vote in Michigan and just edge him out with 43 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania.
But on Oct. 8, after the window had closed for the survey, Kennedy announced he was running as a third-party candidate, and it’s clear which voter base he appeals to.
“More Biden 2020 than Trump 2020 voters say they would vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. if he was a candidate in all six states polled,” Redfield and Wilton reported. “In fact, more than twice as many Biden 2020 as Trump 2020 voters would vote for RFK Jr. in North Carolina (11 percent vs 5 percent) and Michigan (11 percent vs 4 percent).”
Imagine being a Democratic strategist suddenly confronted with the potential loss of 11 percent of the Biden 2020 vote to RFK, with the knowledge that the party is already shaky among its black voter base — its most reliable element.
With RFK in the mix, Biden’s 1 percentage point lead in Pennsylvania in October turns into a 44-37 percent blowout in November, according to the poll. His tie in Michigan became a 39-38 percent defeat,
The November numbers are no better for Biden in the other four states: Trump beat him in Arizona 40-33 percent; Florida, 44-34 percent; Georgia, a stunning 45-35 percent (considering the 2020 results and the indictment Trump is facing there); and North Carolina, 44-35 percent.
It’s important to note here that Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania in 2020 only by the slimmest of margins.
Any one of those states could have gone the other way (and in all honesty, probably did), and Tuesday’s poll just backs up that a 2024 election featuring the same match-up could have exactly the opposite results.
It’s also important to note that the GOP nomination race isn’t decided yet. In fact, not a single vote has been cast, though Trump holds an average 48-point polling lead, according to the most recent RealClearPolitics numbers.
So, how would the other Republican contenders do against Biden? Biden would win against DeSantis in four of the states polled while DeSantis won Florida (of course) and North Carolina.
Against the No. 3 Republican, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Biden would win all six states but North Carolina, according to the poll.
Now, there are reasons to take this poll with a grain of salt, of course. There always are.
A year is an eternity in politics — minds can change depending on circumstances. An international polling firm, no matter how well-intentioned, might not be entirely attuned to American politics (note the inclusion of Florida and North Carolina here and the omission of, say, Wisconsin).
Redfield and Wilton is operating in a partnership with the U.K. Telegraph, a conservative news outlet, so it’s results could well be pitched to conservative ears (like these).
But there’s also no reason to doubt them out of hand.
The Biden presidency is a disaster, and every American who can read knows it. (Admitting it to a pollster is a different question.)
The man himself has visibly aged in the public eye. A guy who might have “lost a little off his fastball” back in 2020 sometimes doesn’t seem capable of lifting his arm these day (or knowing what an “arm” is).
And there is one joker in the deck that, if it’s still in play come next October, is likely to be giving Democrats fits.
The RFK Jr. phenomenon just might be the biggest danger to the Democratic White House in politics today.
If that’s making for sleepless nights now, in 10 months it could have Democrats wetting the bed.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.