Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr visits Arizona

General, January 2024, Journal | 0 comments

January 2024

ARIZONA — In a notable political development, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, held a voter rally in Phoenix on December 20, 2023, drawing attention to the shifting dynamics of voter registration in Arizona. Kennedy, a member of the famous Democratic Party’s Kennedy family, has recently aligned himself more with far-right ideologies, diverging significantly from his family’s traditional political stance.
The rally in Phoenix, held in a modest location between a freeway, a railroad track, and a U-Haul rental center, attracted hundreds of diverse attendees, united by their distrust in mainstream institutions and their belief in Kennedy’s candidness. Kennedy’s campaign is part of a broader effort to secure a place on the 2024 presidential ballot as an independent candidate, a task that requires collecting at least a million signatures nationwide. His campaign, supported by the super PAC American Values 2024, has been making considerable financial and legal efforts to achieve this goal.
Kennedy’s appeal among voters, particularly young people, stems from his stance as a prominent anti-vaccine activist and his rejection of mainstream media, favoring alternative online sources for disseminating his message. His presence in Arizona, a battleground state, has raised concerns among both Trump and Biden allies about the potential impact on the 2024 election, given his ability to draw voters from their respective bases.
Coinciding with Kennedy’s political activities, there has been a notable shift in voter registration in Arizona. As of July, independent voters, who do not align with any party, have become the largest single group of voters in the state, surpassing Republicans for the first time in years. These independents accounted for 34.55% of all registered voters, while Republicans constituted 34.42%, and Democrats 30.02%. This shift indicates a growing disaffection with major political parties among Arizonans, with many voters expressing fatigue with the existing political landscape.
The rise in independent voters reflects various factors, including disillusionment with major parties, a desire to avoid partisan labeling, and a preference among younger voters to remain unaffiliated. However, it’s important to note that being registered as an independent does not always translate to high voter turnout, with unaffiliated voters typically underperforming at the polls compared to their registered numbers. This underperformance might be attributed to the absence of a formal Independent party in the state, which necessitates that unaffiliated voters choose a Republican or Democratic ballot to participate in primary elections.
The increasing number of independent voters in Arizona signifies a major shift in the state’s political landscape and highlights a growing disillusionment with the traditional two-party system. Kennedy’s rally in Phoenix, as part of his independent presidential campaign, reflects a wider context in which voters, particularly the newly registered independents, are seeking alternatives to the conventional political narrative. Although Kennedy’s controversial stances, particularly his anti-vaccine activism, have garnered a significant following, it remains to be seen how his campaign will influence voter behavior in Arizona.
Kennedy’s campaign strategy, focusing on states like Arizona, is indicative of the evolving political dynamics in the U.S. As voters become increasingly disenchanted with traditional party politics, candidates like Kennedy, who offer a different perspective, are finding new opportunities to influence elections. This development is further evidenced by the emergence of movements like the No Labels party, which caters to voters dissatisfied with hyper partisan politics.
The rally in Phoenix and the rise of independent voters in Arizona symbolize a critical juncture in American politics. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the impact of these shifts, particularly in battleground states like Arizona, will be closely monitored.
—Jeremy Webb

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