The super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential bid is narrowing its ballot access campaign focus to seven states — including crucial battlegrounds that will determine the outcome of the presidential election.
American Values 2024 will now prioritize helping to get Kennedy on the ballot in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Texas, according to plans first shared with POLITICO.
Half of these target states were decisive in the 2020 race, and won by now-President Joe Biden by narrow margins. The promotion of a third-party candidate in these battlegrounds could change the pathways for victory for the major parties’ nominees — even if Kennedy only garners single-digit support next November.
“The seven states we will initially focus on have a total of 183 electoral college votes and some of the highest populations in the country,” PAC Founder Tony Lyons said in a statement.
The super PAC originally planned to also work on gaining ballot access in Indiana, Colorado and Nevada but have dropped them from the list after advice from their counsel. But American Values 2024 will still dedicate between $10 and $15 million to the smaller list of states.
A statement outlining the new plan also said it’s confident that Kennedy could win a contingent election, a possible scenario where no presidential candidate gets 270 electoral college votes. Under such a scenario, congressional delegations from each state cast votes to choose the next president.
“Kennedy has two clear pathways to the White House,” Lyons said. “We will do everything we can, while working closely with our attorneys and without coordinating with the campaign, to make sure that the uniparty fails in any efforts to derail the peaceful, populist revolution that he represents.”
There hasn’t been a contingent election since 1836. It is also widely believed that a contingent election would result in the Republican nominee winning the presidency because there are more state delegations with a majority of Republican members than Democratic ones.
Kennedy is garnering about 13 percent of voter support, according to public polling in matchups with Biden, Donald Trump, fellow independent candidate Cornel West and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. In three way matchups, with just Trump and Biden, Kennedy’s support increases to 15.4 percent.
Lyons is bullish on Kennedy’s chances in 2024 based on the recent polls, especially data that shows higher support among younger voters.
“I think in the end both parties are anti-democratic and that they would prefer to keep Bobby Kennedy off the ballot. They prefer to keep each other off the ballot,” Lyons said in a phone interview. “Not debate them, not engage, find a way to disqualify [candidates], and I don’t think that should happen in a democracy.”