Recent polls show Trump surging ahead of Biden in key states for 2024. Voters respond with their thoughts.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
Polls in Question
A recent set of polling data from Redfield and Wilton Strategies shows Trump beating Biden in five out of six battleground states if RFK Jr. runs as an independent. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently announced his independent candidacy.
Redfield and Wilton compiled the polls in early October, just before Kennedy announced his independent run, for the following states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Trump led in all of them except Pennsylvania, where he and Biden tied.
A Solid Base
Upon seeing the poll results, one commenter noted their surprise, saying, “The initial conventional wisdom (including mine) was that Kennedy’s bid hurts Trump, but I’m thinking now that with Trump’s solid base, maybe not.”
Though many predicted RFK Jr’s candidacy would hurt Trump by pulling from the GOP voter base, these polls seem to show the opposite effect. “Could RFK Jr. be the Democrats’ Ross Perot and screw them over?” one commenter asked.
Others thought the poll wasn’t painting an accurate picture. “Kennedy will not get that percentage in the real election,” one person noted. Another echoed the sentiment. “I have a hard time believing Kennedy can pull 7-9%+ in swing states.”
Though third-party candidates often show promise initially, their campaigns have historically fizzled out. However, within hours of announcing his independent run, a Kennedy-linked super PAC raised $11 million in donations, suggesting that RFK Jr. may play a pivotal role in 2024.
“How many of the states will he actually have ballot access in, though?” one person asked. Independent candidates must petition each state individually to get on the election ballot, creating a hurdle for RFK Jr.
Not Buying It
Several commenters noted that polls like these have been wrong before, and polling is less accurate this far in advance. “Polls mean nothing, especially 13 months from the election,” one person noted.
Others pointed out that polls like this may not capture everyone. “Only old MAGA Republicans answer those polls,” one user said. “Do you think Gen X and millennials sit around answering polls? You can’t reach them to poll them.”
Many thought that this poll simply showed that there are a number of voters who have yet to pick a side. “So there are significant numbers of undecideds,” one person concluded.
Others noted that pollsters might want to consider additional states as possible swing states. “People think AZ, GA, MI, and PA are going to decide this election,” one person noted. “I think with the massive demographic changes in UT, ID, and NV, they should be considering those states also.”
Some people mentioned that this poll leaves a few candidates out. “[Cornell] West and the other 3rd party candidates need to be added into the states where they are on the ballot,” one person commented. West, a progressive activist, will likely pull votes from Democrats, adding to Trump’s lead.
One person made an out-of-the-box suggestion that several others seconded. “Trump should grab RFK Jr. For VP, so he grabs his votes and dominates.” Though unlikely, in such a scenario, Trump could take all six of the noted swing states.
Many weren’t surprised by the poll’s results. “Trump is surging and will continue to,” one person said. “Biden is collapsing due to a fracture currently happening with his base,” they added, presumably referring to the progressives within the Democratic party.
Others dismissed the poll results entirely. As one person put it, “Nobody trusts polls anymore, don’t you know that?” Another simply said, “Lol, nah.”
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