As long as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. focuses his ambitions on a Democratic primary challenge to President Joe Biden, he will do little damage to him.
But if Kennedy runs as an independent on a third-party line, Biden's chances of winning reelection next year are over.
Pollster John McLaughlin shows in a recent survey Kennedy winning 15% of the vote in a Democratic primary.
But the McLaughlin survey also shows that in a general election Kennedy draws 2-to-1 more from Biden's voters than he does from former President Donald Trump's.
Indeed, I believe any third candidate would likely drain whatever life is left in a Biden reelection.
Even Cornell West, a Black scholar and activist, is running as an independent.
He would draw 6% of the vote, most of it coming out of Biden's hide.
In a two-way race of Trump vs. Biden, McLaughlin has Trump ahead by four points.
But with West in the race as a third candidate, Trump wins 43-38.
Oddly, the self-destructive Democratic Party is doing everything it can to induce Kennedy to jump ship and run as a third-party candidate.
Biden has refused to debate him or even to acknowledge that he exists.
That's no way to treat a member of your own party, particularly one who trails you by 30 points.
Biden should be besieging Kennedy with love and favors to keep him from an independent bid.
In fact, the Biden people are even trying to block Kennedy from winning delegates on the ground that he is campaigning for himself in contravention of the party rules.
They seem bent on hounding Kennedy, a member of the party's most iconic family, out of the primary.
Kennedy has been running as an insurgent Democrat, true to the party's principles but willing to take on the various establishments and interest groups that control it.
He rails against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, calling for more clinical trials before an even wider distribution of the shots.
He supports a border wall and speaks passionately about the harm illegal immigration does to the working poor.
He is outspoken about the military-industrial complex and is a pacifist when it comes to support for Ukraine in defending itself against Russia.
Were he to run as an independent, he would harvest bushels of votes from those who already have decided to vote against Trump, but at the same time don't like Biden and are deeply concerned about his fitness for office.
Were Biden not the incumbent, Kennedy would pose a real challenge in the primary.
But with the Democratic party faithful paralyzed by fear of Trump, few feel free to throw their support behind Kennedy.
But if Kennedy runs as third party candidate, Biden's support will crack — and all the king's horses and all the king's men won't be able to put his candidacy back together again.
Dick Morris is a former presidential adviser and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris' Reports — More Here.
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