RFK Jr. Gains Significant Latino Support, Potentially Jeopardizing Biden’s 2024 Prospects

A recent poll conducted by Voto Latino, an election advocacy group, has revealed that independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is making significant inroads with Latino voters, a development that could prove detrimental to President Joe Biden’s reelection efforts. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 Latino voters across five crucial states — Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, and Pennsylvania — found that approximately one-fifth of these voters preferred a third-party candidate.

Although the poll indicates that Latino voters are withdrawing support from both Biden and former President Donald Trump, the trend may have a more profound impact on the Biden campaign, given that Latinos generally view the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party. Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar noted that while Latino voters support Biden’s policies, they are not satisfied with his perceived handling of the economy, leading to a defection to third-party candidates, particularly Kennedy.

In a two-way matchup between Biden and Trump, Biden achieved a commanding lead, securing 59% of the Latino vote compared to Trump’s 39%. However, when Kennedy and two other third-party candidates were included, Biden’s support dropped by 12 points to 47%, while Trump’s support fell to 34%. Kennedy captured 12% of the Latino vote, with Jill Stein and Cornel West receiving 2% and 3%, respectively.

Kumar emphasized the opportunity for both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to address the issues that are crucial to the Latino community, particularly the economy’s impact on those at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. She also highlighted the significant role that women, particularly Latinas, play in the shift towards third-party candidates.

As the 2024 general election approaches, enthusiasm among Latino voters appears to have waned compared to the 2020 election. While Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha believes that Latino voters who consider third-party candidates usually “come home” to mainstream candidates, the potential impact of Kennedy’s candidacy on the Latino vote cannot be ignored.