RFK Jr. leads 2024 candidates in favorability poll

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. currently leads the pack of 2024 presidential candidates with a high favorability rating among respondents in a new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey. 

The poll, published Monday and shared with The Hill, found that 52 percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of Kennedy, while 27 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of him. Kennedy also had the highest net favorability rating of 25 points.

Kennedy scored significantly higher than the runner-up, former President Trump, in terms of net favorability. While Trump was viewed favorably by 51 percent of respondents, he had a net favorability rating of 7 points — with 44 percent of respondents viewing the GOP front-runner unfavorably.

When asked about their opinion on President Biden, 49 percent of respondents have an unfavorable opinion of the president, while 46 percent of those surveyed think otherwise. The president scored a -2 net favorability rating.

“Robert Kennedy has positioned himself to appeal to members of both parties though it is unclear how much of his ratings are from in depth knowledge of Kennedy vs. his popular family name,” Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, said.

Kennedy also beat out other presidential hopefuls in the favorability ranking.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) came in fourth, with percent of respondents saying they have a favorable opinion of the presidential hopeful and 38 percent responding unfavorably. The governor received a 6 percent net favorability rating.

Former UN Ambassador to the United States Nikki Haley received 43 percent of favorable respondents, while 29 percent of respondents have an unfavorable opinion of her. Still, her net favorability rating outranked that of DeSantis at 14 percent.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, while 29 percent of those surveyed think otherwise, the poll said. Ramaswamy has a net favorability of 8 percent — also outranking DeSantis.

The findings come as Kennedy, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in April, recently shared last month that he was switching from a Democrat to an independent in his presidential campaign. 

The new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey was conducted from November 15 to November 16 with a total of 2,851 respondents participating in the survey. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll.

The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Poll and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

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