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After failing to gain any traction in the Democrat Presidential primaries, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) announced his intentions to run for President as an independent. Given the historical ineffectiveness of 3rd party candidates in US elections this move all but guarantees that Kennedy will not stand a chance in the November elections. That said, he now has the potential to act as a spoiler, pulling just enough votes from one candidate or the other in just a couple key states, potentially swinging the election to the other major party candidate.   Over the last 150 years there have only been 3 significant 3rd party candidates who managed to materially impact the outcome of a presidential election. In 1912, former Republican President Teddy Roosevelt ran against the incumbent, his successor, William Howard Taft. He managed to pull around 27% of the popular vote, and 88 of the then 531 Electoral College votes, effectively splitting the Republican votes and ushering the Democrat Woodrow Wilson into office. It then took 80 years for another significant 3rd party candidate to materialize, in the form of billionaire businessman Ross Perot in 1992. While Perot failed to carry any states or win any Electoral…

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