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RFK Jr.’s campaign raises $2.6 million in May

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential campaign raised $2.6 million in May, according to federal filings, a figure far behind both major party candidates and one that shows its reliance on big money donors.

May was the campaign’s weakest month this year, according to federal campaign finance reports. It’s also the first month Nicole Shanahan — a wealthy Silicon Valley lawyer and the campaign’s vice presidential candidate — didn’t contribute significant sums.

Last month’s fundraising total was about the same as the month before, if you subtract Shanahan’s significant donations to lift Kennedy; she gave the campaign nearly $8 million in April, and the campaign took in $10.7 million total.

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Those figures pale in comparison to President Biden and former President Trump. Biden brought in a reported $8 million at a single fundraiser in Virginia on Tuesday, while Trump’s campaign boasted a $141 million haul for the month of May, boosted by the former president’s felony conviction.

Kennedy’s campaign ended May with $6.4 million cash on hand, though it is unclear how much Shanahan is willing to commit. As a member of the ticket, there is no limit to the amount she can give the campaign.

The campaign also spent about $6.2 million last month, according to the filing. Most of the sum was on consulting work with a ballot access organization; Kennedy has repeatedly said he believes he will qualify for the ballot in all 50 states before the November election.

Kennedy’s candidacy adds a wrinkle to what is already expected to be a tight election between Biden and Trump. While highly unlikely to win the presidency himself, it’s so far unclear if the environmental lawyer-turned vaccine skeptic would take away more votes from Biden or Trump.

He is unlikely to qualify for the first presidential debate, scheduled for next week, which could limit his impact.

Trump has a 0.6 percent lead over Biden in The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of national polls, though that rises to a 1.3 percent lead when Kennedy is included.

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