RFK Jr. Decides on VP Running Mate

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 27, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is going to be a force in this upcoming 2024 election, and he just added his VP running mate.

Kennedy is adding tech entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate.

Talking Points…
- Kennedy gaining steam
- Kennedy announces running mate
- Analysis

Kennedy Gaining Steam

In the latest 3-way polling, Kennedy is getting a significant percentage of voters, so this is not a candidate that either side can dismiss. The latest Marist Poll has Kennedy at 15%, with Trump at 48% and Joe Biden at 36%. This is one percentage point less for Biden in a two-way race, so Kennedy is clearly impacting Biden more than he would Trump by running in this race.

The interesting aspect of this race is wondering where Trump's support will go if he is convicted of a felony in one of these federal cases. From the polling I have seen, even in the best-case scenario for Trump, he loses about 30% of his support in the election. If those voters move over to Kennedy, we are looking at numbers that are pretty close to a three-way tie in the election.

Those numbers were also before Kennedy added a female running mate, so having Shanahan on his ticket could improve Kennedy's numbers and draw even more support away from Biden, with independent voters wanting to see a woman on the ticket.

Kennedy Announces Running Mate

This week, Kennedy announced that Nichole Shanahan would be his running mate for vice president. She will be attractive to voters for several reasons. She has entrepreneurial experience and seems to be working more with modern voters than a career politician. Having a woman on the ticket is also good for business these days, hitting a demographic that Trump has historically struggled with in elections.

One thing she will have a challenge drawing in, however, is hardline conservatives. Shanahan is a California native with a long history of supporting leftist causes, including donating to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. That will not play well with any conservatives who are looking for an alternative to Trump unless she and Kennedy can sell themselves to voters as a more moderate option from Biden.

Kennedy has been struggling with fundraising, which is where Shanahan is going to benefit him the most. On selecting Shanahan as his VP, Kennedy stated:

"I want a partner with strong ideas of how to reverse those dire threats to democracy and to our freedoms. I managed to find a technologist at the forefront of AI.

"She has spent the last decade relying on neural networks, artificial intelligence, and cutting edge science, to identify abuses in our government."

For her part, Shanahan is trying to address her former Democrat ties to assure voters that she is not a wolf in sheep's clothing. She stated:

"The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of compassion. It is supposed to be the party of free speech, and most importantly, the party of the middle class and the American dream.

"While I know many Democrats still abide by those values…I do believe they've lost their way in their leadership."

Trump's Make America Great Again PAC took immediate aim at Kennedy after the announcement, clearly worried that he would draw voters away from Trump, especially if Trump is convicted of a felony. The PAC stated:

"Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a far-left radical that supports reparations, backs the Green New Deal, and wants to ban fracking. It's no surprise he would pick a Biden donor leftist as his running mate."

Analysis

Do I think Kennedy can win this election right now? The answer to that is a resounding "no." However, as I have stated in previous reports, the worry for the Trump campaign is if Trump has been convicted. If Trump can avoid a conviction, Kennedy only poses a threat to Biden, as he clearly takes away more votes from Biden than Trump. Having said that, do not make the mistake of thinking of this campaign as a novelty because, at 15% and rising, Kennedy is a threat that cannot be dismissed.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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