Former Obama advisor says RFK Jr. 'trend lines' look good for Biden

Biden RFKJ Trump 2024

The man who led former President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign said early polling of the 2024 race is a good sign for President Biden, with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. appearing to draw more support from former President Trump than Biden.

Jim Messina said in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview Tuesday that despite neck-and-neck polls between Biden and Trump, trends are pointing in the right direction for the president.

“You go to D.C. and think of there’s panic in the streets of D.C. because Democrats are like, ‘Oh my god, the polls are terrible.’ No, look at the trend lines. You look at how things are getting better,” Messina said.

Third party candidates are the key to understanding the race, Messina said, focusing his attention on Kennedy. The unorthodox candidate, who initially jumped into the race as a Democrat, may take more votes than Trump, according to recent polls.

“You want to see the numbers continue to move, and you want to see who RFK is taking votes from,” Messina said of campaign strategy. “Now it looks like he’s taking more votes from Trump, which makes sense. 

“It’s unlikely that Democrats are going to want to vote for an anti-choice, anti-vaxxer,” he continued. “In the middle of this, it makes sense that there will be more Trump voters that would look at RFK than Biden voters.”

A recent NBC News poll found that Republicans look at Kennedy much more favorably than Democrats, and of those who would choose Trump over Biden, about 15 percent would change their vote to Kennedy if given the choice. Just 7 percent of Biden voters would switch.

The poll also showed that Trump would lead Biden by 2 points if they only faced each other, but with third-party candidates included, Biden would take a 2-point lead.

The Biden campaign has doubled down on anti-Kennedy messaging in recent weeks, releasing ads bragging about endorsements from nearly the entire Kennedy family. Kennedy, the son of the former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, does not have any endorsements from his politically influential family.

Focus has been on Kennedy’s abortion rights stance, which has not been made clear, though statements from the candidate and his running mate Nicole Shanahan imply that the ticket could support some restrictions on abortion access.

Abortion-rights group Reproductive Freedom for All Freedom Fund launched ads in the swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin Monday that sought to cast doubt on Kennedy’s stance on the procedure.

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