Between West leaving the Green Party for an independent run and RFK leaving the Dems for the same, presumably without making a move to the Libertarian Party, President Joe Biden has dodged two major campaign bullets in the past week.
(He still has to hope a recession bullet doesn't shoot down the overly vaunted Bidenomics, or that his Warmonger Joe persona doesn't drag him further down, but those are other issues.)
First, West. Yes, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka said they're going to try to get former candidates to run again. That's an acknowledgement of what I knew months ago, that the West-less rest of the GP's currently announced prez candidates is less than awe-inspiring. Will Howie Hawkins be much more? I assume Stein's not throwing her hat in the ring for Round 3. Please, no Dario Hunter. Please, no "libertarian Greens" pushing Jesse the Body Ventura.
Anyway, the GP, whoever it nominates, will have a weaker candidate. And, West isn't going to break the 25-state mark in ballot access, I predict.
Bob Jr? If not all 50 states, he'll get close. And, per my piece on his announcement, and more to follow on Monday with the official big word? Many Republicans know he hurts Trump worse than Biden. (Sit down, Nikki Haley; you can stand up after New Hampshire's primary, if warranted.)
Focusing on him, just how much could he hurt Trump/helpBiden? Let's look at the 2020 race and go from there on some keystone states.
Arizona? Stays Biden more readily.
Georgia? Possibly the same.
Michigan? More comfortable for Biden.
Wisconsin? More comfortable for Biden.
North Carolina could become flippable.
Texas? Biden can't win, but with him becoming Wallbuilder Joe in addition to Bob Jr, it will force Trump to play harder there, especially given the state GOP factionalizing more over Paxton.
This is all preliminary and tentative. Michigan and Wisconsin will also depend on how much union workers think Biden helped them. In addition, we'll have to see how much Nader's sheepdogging may help in those two states and a few others.