As the 2024 U.S. presidential race kicks into high gear, the Libertarian Party convention in Washington, D.C. became a battleground on Thursday for the hearts and minds of third-party voters.

In a desperate bid to expand their bases, former President Donald Trump and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attempted to court Libertarian support only to be met with a resounding rejection that left both campaigns reeling.

According to the Hill, the convention descended into chaos as Trump took the stage, with steadfast Libertarians clashing with pro-Trump attendees throughout his speech. Trump, visibly rattled by the hostility, lashed out at the crowd, mocking their electoral performance and questioning their commitment to winning.

Kennedy, sensing an opportunity to capitalize on Trump’s missteps, sought to appeal to Libertarians by promising pardons for whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. While his remarks drew cheers from some, many Libertarians reportedly saw through the facade, dismissing Kennedy as an opportunist attempting to hijack their platform for his own gain.

Recent polls suggest Kennedy has emerged as a formidable threat to both Trump and Biden, especially among younger voters and Latinos enamored with the former reality TV star’s celebrity. The latest Siena College survey has Kennedy at 10 percent in key swing states, siphoning support from both parties and potentially playing spoiler in a close election.

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