Republican voters in Iowa would like to see vaccine skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. put in charge of regulating American medicines or leading the nation's public health efforts, according to an exclusive new poll, even though he is running for president as a Democratic candidate.
R.F.K. Jr. has become well-known for pushing debunked theories about vaccines and outlandish ideas about viruses.
But a survey of 600 Republicans in Iowa who are likely to play a role in picking the 2024 G.O.P candidate found that his assault on the health establishment is gaining traction.
They backed the idea of putting him in charge of the Centers for Disease Control or the Food and Drug Administration by a margin of almost three to one.
Some 48 percent endorsed the proposal, which was floated last month by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in his run for president. Only 17 percent said they were opposed.
Robert J. Kennedy Jr. is polling at about 15 percent in the Democratic primary race. But his attack on the health establishment has won him admirers on the right of the Republican Party
It illustrates how R.F.K. Jr's long shot campaign has attracted Republicans who want their candidate to stand up to a scientific consensus they believe failed them during the pandemic.
His name also comes up in discussions about picking a vice president.
Some 40 percent of respondents said he could make a good running mate for the eventual Republican nominee, including half of people who said they were backing former President Donald Trump.
But opinion is more divided than putting him at the head of a health agency. Some 29 percent said they were opposed to putting him on Republican 2024 ticket.
James Johnson, co-founder of J.L. Partners which conducted the poll for DailyMail.com, said: ‘R.F.K. may not appeal to Democrats, but he is certainly pushing the right Republican buttons.
‘Though he is controversial as a G.O.P. V.P. pick, he is seen as an attractive appointment to the F.D.A. or C.D.C.
‘This is not the sort of thing that would make a major impact on voters in either direction, but it does show that DeSantis' comments were less out of touch with his electorate than some Republican talking heads may have suggested.'
His promotion of theories that circulate the darkest fringes of the internet alarms health professionals and centrist candidates.
But DeSantis appeared to offer him a job during an interview with OutKick’s Clay Travis, who asked him about Kennedy as a possible running mate.