A Major Election Wild Card: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Author: Greg Valliere
February 1, 2024
THE WILD CARD: Polls are all over the lot now — Donald Trump has a slight lead nationally, and is ahead in most swing states — but there’s a major wild card that totally scrambles the outlook: the third party challenge by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
STRATEGISTS IN BOTH MAJOR PARTIES reacted with dismay this week when Kennedy hinted that he might run not as an independent candidate but rather as the nominee of the Libertarian Party, which is fairly well organized in most key states.
“THAT’S SOMETHING WE’RE LOOKING AT,” Kennedy says. “We have a really good relationship with the Libertarian Party.” His views are controversial: anti-vaccine, quite liberal on social and economic issues, and not as pro-gun as many Libertarians would prefer. But his last name is iconic, and he’s likely to win 3 -4% of the vote nationwide — at least.
MANY DEMOCRATS FEAR THAT Kennedy would take votes from President Biden — and they also worry about who the “No Labels” party will pick in early March as its candidate. Could it be an establishment Democrat like Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) or former Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley? She would electrify the race, and would have an outside chance of winning the presidency is a close three-candidate race.
ANY THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE would worry mainstream Democrats. Many still remember the 2000 race, when liberal gadfly Ralph Nader won nearly 3 million votes, 2.4% of the electorate. He probably cost Al Gore the presidency, many political analysts believe.
AS FOR THE CURRENT RACE, polls this week were decidedly mixed. One survey, from Quinnipiac University, showed Biden ahead by 6% nationwide, which seems higher than most polls. A Bloomberg poll of the major swing states had grim news for the Biden team —
Georgia: Trump 49, Biden 41;
Arizona: Trump 47, Biden 44;
Wisconsin: Trump 49, Biden 44;
North Carolina: Trump 49, Biden 39;
Michigan: Trump 47, Biden 42;
Pennsylvania: Trump 48, Biden 45
Nevada: Trump 48, Biden 40.
The Electoral College, at this early date, tilts toward Trump.
* * * * *
EDITOR’S NOTE: Got a very early flight tomorrow, not publishing, back on Monday.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2024 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.