Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "Viva Kennedy" Aimed at Strengthening Latino Support

 April 7, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. launched his Hispanic outreach program, "Viva Kennedy," intending to secure Latino voters' support for his third-party bid in the forthcoming election.

Politico reported that this stirred concern within the Biden campaign about potentially diminishing the Democratic coalition's support. The event was celebrated on Cesar Chavez Day, opposite the Mexican marketplace on LA’s historic Olvera Street, and a diverse array of speakers and performances were held.

Kennedy's Surprising Appeal Among Latino Voters Shakes Up Election Dynamics

Among those sharing the stage were a bishop, a former supervisor for the Border Patrol, and a Latino sheriff opposed to vaccine mandates, indicating a broad spectrum of endorsements for Kennedy. These varied supporters underscore the outreach program's attempt to connect with a wide scope of the Hispanic community.

"Viva Kennedy" is a nod to the past, reviving a campaign once initiated by Kennedy's uncle, John F. Kennedy, in 1960, aimed at appealing to Latino voters. Despite Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s third-party candidacy being officially recognized on the ballot only in Utah, reports point to a promising collection of signatures suggesting potential ballot access in Arizona and Nevada.

A poll from Equis Research highlighted Kennedy's unexpected stronghold among Latino voters in crucial battleground states, posing a real threat to Joe Biden's reelection strategy. In Arizona and Nevada, Kennedy took a substantial share of Latino support, notably amongst younger voters. This shift is alarming for Democrats who previously secured significant Latino support in the 2020 elections.

Concern Grows Within the Democratic Camp

The data pulled from Equis Research's mid-February poll has since spurred a sense of urgency within Democratic circles. There's a growing apprehension that key battleground states, which Biden narrowly won in the 2020 elections, could slip from their grasp due to Kennedy's appeal. The margins of Biden's victory in states like Arizona and Nevada underscore their significance for the Democratic party in the upcoming elections.

According to Mike Noble, "It’s a big threat to them if Kennedy gets on the ballot in these two states. He would be pulling more from Biden," indicating the direct impact a third-party candidacy could have on the Democratic prospects.

Kennedy's empathetic stance on Latino and environmental justice issues, combined with the historical resonance of the Kennedy family name within Democratic politics, could reroute a portion of Biden's support base towards him. This scenario has prompted the Biden campaign and Latino-focused advocacy groups to strategize diligently to mitigate Kennedy's influence.

"Kennedy is a golden name in Democratic politics and any support he derives comes almost totally at the expense of Biden," Fernand Amandi opined, emphasizing the Kennedy brand's weight within Democratic politics and its potential to draw votes away from the current president.

The Kennedy Legacy and Latino Advocacy

In his quest for the Latino vote, Kennedy has not only harnessed the nostalgic legacy of the Kennedy family's historical connections to Latino advocacy but also his commitment to Latino and environmental justice issues. "We’re going to campaign very aggressively for the Latino vote. I have a long history as an advocate of Latino issues and on environmental justice issues,” Kennedy himself articulated, demonstrating his readiness to engage deeply with the community's concerns.

Despite the enthusiasm and support from various quarters, Kennedy's stance on vaccinations has drawn criticism, including from members of the Chavez family, reflecting the complex dynamics surrounding his candidacy. Yet, the connection to influential figures like Cesar Chavez, highlighted during the event, plays into the broader narrative of Kennedy's campaign reaching out to Latino voters through a blend of historical reverence and contemporary issues.

Active online communities have rallied behind Kennedy, discussing strategies for ballot access and expressing disillusionment with the bipartisan system. This growing momentum underscores a critical sentiment among voters seeking alternatives.


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "Viva Kennedy" initiative significantly mobilizes Latino support for his third-party candidacy. With the potential to impact crucial battleground states and stir concerns within the Democratic party, the campaign illustrates the enduring appeal of the Kennedy family among Latino voters, as well as the larger political ramifications of third-party candidacies in tightly contested elections.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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