Where RFK Jr. is on the ballot

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The Big Story 

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has now qualified to be on the ballot in a few states and has gained enough signatures to make the ballot in about a half dozen other states. 

© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Kennedy’s campaign announced on Monday that it qualified for ballot access in California, the most populous state in the country. The state is solidly blue and will almost certainly vote for President Biden in November, but making the ballot formally gives Kennedy access to millions of voters who live in the Golden State. 


Kennedy and his running mate, Nicole Shanahan, will be on the ballot in the state under the label of the American Independent Party, a third party that is the third-largest in the state, after the Democratic and Republican parties. The party “ironically” was founded to support the 1968 presidential campaign for former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a staunch segregationist who ran a third-party campaign that year, Kennedy noted in his announcement. 


The party has “had its own rebirth,” Kennedy remarked, saying it now represents “not bigotry and hatred, but rather compassion and unity and idealism and common sense.” 


California is the third state to formally put Kennedy on the ballot, joining Utah and Michigan. The campaign has also said it has received enough signatures on its petitions to make the ballot in Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina. 


Kennedy is trying to gain ballot access in all 50 states to try to be a legitimate third option for voters who are frustrated with both Biden and former President Trump, the two major party nominees. 


Democrats have expressed concern about Kennedy making the ballot in key battleground states that Biden will need to win reelection. 


But he seems more likely to have an impact on Biden and Trump’s chances of winning than being able to win himself, as third-party candidates have been a long shot throughout presidential elections in history. In a three-way race, Kennedy is averaging about 9 percent nationally in the polling average from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ


Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

Americans still widely oppose the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which ruled women do not have a federal right to an abortion, according to a poll released Wednesday. In the CNN poll, conducted April 18-23, 65 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision — including 47 percent who said they disapprove strongly and 18 percent who said they do so somewhat. About 34 percent …

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Fears of growing fascism and extremism are increasing in the United States, according to a new poll. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National poll released Wednesday found that 31 percent of surveyed Americans, when asked about their greatest fears for the country’s future, mention a rise of fascism and extremism. There is also a notable partisan split in the findings, with almost half of surveyed Democrats, 47 percent, reporting …

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President Biden will travel to Detroit this month to give remarks at an NAACP dinner, a Biden campaign official confirmed to The Hill. The president is set to travel to swing state Michigan on May 19 and will speak at the NAACP Detroit Branch’s 69th annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, The Detroit News first reported. The White House announced Biden’s trip to Detroit ahead of former President Trump’s visit to the battleground …

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The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

  • 75 days until the Republican National Convention

  • 110 days until the Democratic National Convention

  • 188 days until the 2024 general election

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

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Nearly 4 in 10 local election officials experienced threats, harassment or abuse while on the job, according to a new poll. In the survey, published Wednesday by the Brennan Center for Justice, 38 percent of local election workers reported “threats, harassment or abuse,” while 54 percent said they were concerned about the safety of their colleagues. About 62 percent said they were worried about political leaders …

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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) on Tuesday called on billionaires to support former President Trump for the sake of their shareholders and the “prosperity” of America. When asked on Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle” about his message to billionaires across the country, Burgum said, “Well, I wish they had gotten the opportunity to know President Trump the way the first lady and I have, because …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

  • Election officials complaining about Michigan recount law see proposal to overhaul it (Detroit Free Press)

  • Congressional candidate Anthony Kern fundraises off his indictment as a fake elector (The Arizona Republic)

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

  • Abortion-rights groups have never faced a state like Florida (Politico)

  • New Progressive PAC Targets 8 Key House Races in California (The New York Times)

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced Wednesday she’ll act next week to force a vote on whether to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), an extraordinary move highlighting the internal turmoil in the GOP. But the effort is all but certain to fail after Democratic leaders said they would vote to protect the Speaker from her … Read more

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) pushed back on comparisons between the politically damaging dog stories that plagued both his and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) potential bids for the White House. During Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, a decades-old story about him tying his dog Seamus to the roof of his car on a family road trip became … Read more

You’re all caught up. See you next time! 

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