Jun 21, 2024

RFK Jr. turns in more signatures to qualify for another state ballot

Posted Jun 21, 2024 7:30 PM
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  courtesy image
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  courtesy image

BY: AARON SANDERFORD  Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Third-party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose bid has spurred the ire of the current president as well as the previous president, turned in enough signatures this week in Nebraska that his name will likely reach the November ballot.

The Kennedy campaign announced that it had turned in more than 5,000 signatures to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office. The state’s chief election office now must check the voter registration file to verify at least 2,500 valid ones.

Lane Koch, the Kennedy campaign’s regional director in the Midwest, thanked volunteers for “a historic day.” In addition to Nebraska, the Kennedy campaign said it has turned in signatures in 14 other states, including neighboring Iowa. 

Kennedy is already on the ballot in at least nine states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. His campaign says it is still working to get him on the ballot in all 50.

Most political observers give Kennedy little chance to beat either President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, or former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, in Nebraska or nationally.

However, some consider Kennedy a potential spoiler in swing districts where a percentage point or three could alter a state’s Electoral College votes. Among those is Nebraska’s Omaha-based 2nd Congressional District.

Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that split off electoral votes for president for the winners in each congressional district. Nebraska’s 2nd District backed Biden in 2020 and former President Barack Obama in 2008, sending each a single electoral vote.

Dona-Gene Barton, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said third-party candidates in close races can “disrupt the election results.” It’s possible for Kennedy to siphon enough votes away from Biden to make a Trump win “more likely,” she said. 

Trump won Nebraska statewide in 2016 and 2020.