The RFK, Jr. Wild Card in New Hampshire
The conventional wisdom is that the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and its apparent traction with a segment of the electorate (as much as 20 percent in the latest national CNN poll), reflects a combination of three things. One is generic discontent with Joe Biden, for which Kennedy is an available vehicle.
The second is the attraction of RFK Jr.’s conspiratorial populism (ranging from stolen-election theories to anti-vaccines to a broader suspicion of technology and finance) to the sorts of left-populists who backed Bernie Sanders in the last two elections.
The third is name recognition, including the residual power of the Kennedy name. Marianne Williamson, the third Democrat in the race, shares many of these characteristics, although she is not a Kennedy and not identified to nearly the same extent with, say, the anti-vax cause. She’s also consistently pulling about eight percent of the Democratic electorate in polls.