RFK Jr. Secures Spot on Ballot in 2024 Battleground North Carolina

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., came one big step forward on Monday to being a 2024 election spoiler.

Kennedy has collected enough voter signatures to qualify for the presidential election ballot in the key battleground state of North Carolina, his campaign said in a press release. With 16 electoral votes, it’s the largest state where Kennedy has secured a place on the ballot so far.

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The news marks perhaps the most significant development to date toward what Democrats see as a nightmare scenario: Kennedy altering the outcome of the rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump by collecting just a few thousand votes in the closest swing states.

Given that the Kennedy campaign claims it exceeded North Carolina’s 23,000 signature requirement with “a buffer of over 60 percent,” the independent candidate’s place on the ballot is secure unless a significant number of signatures are thrown out by state election authorities.

“We have the field teams, volunteers, legal teams, paid circulators, supporters, and strategists ready to get the job done,” Stefanie Spear, the Kennedy campaign’s press secretary, said in a statement.

Seven months out from the general election, Kennedy now has enough signatures to be on the ballot in just five states: Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Utah.

However, of those five states, the presidential margin in 2020 was narrowest in North Carolina, where Trump defeated Biden by 1.3 percentage points. It’s the Biden campaign’s top target to flip into the Democratic column in 2024.

While Kennedy's views appeal to different corners of the political spectrum, Democrats may be more concerned than Republicans about his campaign. They're at least trying harder to neutralize him, with the Democratic Party launching an aggressive operation to counter him.

The ballot signatures are the latest sign of significant movement from Kennedy toward the November election. Last week, he picked Silicon Valley lawyer and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate—a requirement for several states in order for an independent candidate to get on the presidential ballot line.

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