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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to announce his vice presidential pick on Tuesday, which could bring a major cash influx and boost to his third party campaign for president. This announcement means that Kennedy has met a necessary benchmark required by two dozen states to be listed on the ballot, solidifying his path to potentially facing off against former President Donald Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden in November. Choosing a vice president could help boost Kennedy’s support, especially as many within the Democratic establishment initially expected his campaign to fade early on. RFK Jr. initially launched his presidential bid as a Democrat, but later switched to running as an independent after the DNC backed Biden.

Reports suggest that Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer and mega-donor with ties to Silicon Valley and the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, is a top choice for Kennedy’s running mate. Kennedy has denied that Shanahan’s access to funds plays a role in her selection. Other potential candidates floated for VP include NFL star Aaron Rodgers, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Funding for a third party campaign can be a major hurdle, with Biden having a significant war chest as the incumbent president. Kennedy’s campaign has qualified for the ballot in states like New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii, with Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, and South Carolina also being added to the list.

Having a vice president on the ticket demonstrates a commitment to moving forward and signals seriousness about the campaign for president, according to Kennedy’s American Values super PAC co-founder Tony Lyons. Other third party candidates have seen success after announcing their vice presidential picks early in the campaign cycle, showing that having a well-known running mate can boost a candidate’s appeal. Kennedy’s campaign qualifying for the ballot in key battleground states like Michigan and Georgia could also bode well for his chances in the election. In contrast, third party candidates like Ross Perot, who did not have a set vice presidential choice, struggled to garner support and credibility during their campaigns.

Kennedy’s choice of a vice presidential candidate is expected to bring additional attention and support to his independent campaign for president. While Kennedy initially launched his presidential bid as a Democrat, he later switched to running as an independent after disagreements with the DNC. His qualifications for the ballot in multiple states, along with the potential boost in support from announcing a VP pick, could help position him as a legitimate contender against Trump and Biden in the upcoming election. Ultimately, the decision of who Kennedy selects as his running mate could play a critical role in shaping the success of his third party campaign.

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