On the fourth of July, American Independence Day, rapper and Yeezy fashion designer Kanye West announced he was running for President in the upcoming U.S. Presidential Race. His wife, and potentially, the future First Lady of the United States, Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Kim Kardashian West celebrated the news by retweeting her husband with the United States of America flag emoji. Shortly after that, and seemingly adding to my migraine since the news broke, Tesla CEO and the father of Grimes’s child, Elon Musk, tweeted “you have my full support!”
Reboot the simulation pls. I want out. This is not what I signed up for.
Prior to the chaotic events of 2020, the very fact that the Yeezus rapper, who once proclaimed “I Am God,” could be the President of the United States would sound like a cooked shitpost on Twitter. Or an extreme alternate reality. But, there’s a slim chance that the White House could be run by Kanye West, First Lady Kim Kardashian West and the Kardashian family, his Vice President Elon Musk and Second Lady of the United States, Grimes, and yeah, we here at Syrup HQ hate it, too.
Maybe, this is exactly what the alien overlords predicted in that ancient prophecy found in Area 51 announcing the future of the human-alien race—also known as X Æ A-Xii.
Anyway, jokes aside… can Kanye West actually run for Presidency, what does him running mean for Trump and Biden AND could he, y’know, actually end up leading one of the most powerful and influential nations in the world?
Could Kanye West actually run for President?
Before we even begin to consider the fact West announced his decision to run for President of the United States v late to the race and in the middle of literal chaos—only a few months shy of the actual election lmao—there is a chance he actually could run after all.
According to BallotPedia, there are three ways someone can run as an individual candidate in the United States presidential elections. Either they can seek the nomination of a political party (like the Republican Party or Democratic Party, positions already taken by Trump and Biden), run as an independent candidate or, simply be someone that people write their name on the ballot slip and allegedly have their random name count as a vote towards them (what’s called a “write-in candidate”).
Truly, American politics is wild.
Ofc, the Democratic and Republican parties have already decided on their candidates, but according to the ABC, there are smaller independent parties like the Libertarian Party or the Green Party that Kanye West could run for. But, it’s honestly more likely at this point in the race that West would try to run as an independent or as a write-in candidate.
For someone to run as an independent, they need a signature from each state. Many states, including New York, have already closed the period when they’re accepting independent candidates.
If Kanye West ends up running as a write-in candidate, he still won’t be able to run in all 50 states. When it comes to a write-in candidate, 33 states require them to file some paperwork in advance of the election, and nine other states won’t even count their votes. West has already missed a write-in candidate deadline for a few key states with a decent amount of other ones nearing their deadline in the coming weeks.
Answer: Yes, Kanye West can technically run for President in November’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, but he won’t be able to run in all 50 states.
Could Kanye West actually win?
Hypothetically, yes, Kanye West could win but it is very, very unlikely.
As YahooNews White House Correspondent Hunter Walker explained on Twitter, “there are at least nine states where it’s already too late for an independent candidate to get on the ballot,” meaning that West won’t be on as many state ballots as Trump or Biden and be easily outvoted.
“The states where Kanye is already too late to get on the ballot include Texas, New York, and Illinois, three of the top six in terms of electoral college votes,” he said. “There are several other deadlines coming up in the next couple weeks.”
FYI, electoral college votes refer to a body of politicians (538 to be exact) who have a powerful influence in the U.S. presidential election. If a candidate has at least 207 electoral college votes in their favour or a majority, they win the election.
In the 2016 race, Senator Hilary Clinton won the people’s vote with over three million more votes than Donald Trump but received nearly 100 less electoral college votes, losing her the election. This means that even if Kanye West bizarrely won the people’s vote when he won’t even be on the ballot for all 50 states, he almost definitely won’t win the electoral college vote, meaning that there’s almost zero chance he could win.
West has previously joked he was running for President, but “he’s got a long way to go even to convince us that he’s serious,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, according to The Guardian.
“I think West, or anyone else, has missed their window of opportunity to have a meaningful impact,” added Nathan Gonzalez, editor of Inside Elections, as per The Guardian.
What would it take for Kanye West to actually win the U.S. Presidential Race?
Tbh, it would take a miracle for Kanye West to actually win the U.S. Presidential Election in November this year. As mentioned earlier, he is going into this race with less time, resources and even opportunities to secure votes.
Something drastic would need to happen to either the Democratic Party or Republican Party or the states that West isn’t eligible to run in or receive electoral college votes for for him to actually have a chance at winning.
What does Kanye West running for President mean for Donald Trump and Joe Biden?
Even if Kanye West completely flops the U.S. Presidential race, the very fact he’s a candidate can completely influence the course of the election.
As the ABC explains, U.S. elections don’t have a preference-based system like we do here in Australia. A vote for a losing candidate doesn’t carry over to another in the race, it just ends up going towards that sole candidate and not towards anyone else.
Some experts are also concerned that Kanye West is popular with young Black voters who may initially have been more inclined to vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats. In 2015, a poll claimed that 25 percent of Black Americans would consider voting for West, compared to 3 percent of white Americans. Democrats allegedly saw him more favourably than Republicans, implying that West could take away traditionally Democratic votes in the upcoming election, giving way to a Trump victory.
Ofc, several things have changed since 2015 and West has previously been associated with Trump as a supporter. In 2018, the Graduation rapper visited the White House and was seen shaking Trump’s hand. But, nevertheless, his very presence there could be what divides America even more in the election and be the very thing that gets Trump re-elected.
And, tbh, there’s a good reason why experts are concerned. In 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won 10,000 votes in Florida, which was decided by a mere 500 votes. As an expert told the ABC, “without that, Al Gore would have become President instead of George W. Bush.”
And look, that was only 500 votes. Kanye West has a cult image and money and the Kardashian name. Sure, he almost definitely won’t be the President of the United States in the 2020 election, but you can’t deny that people will vote for him, either as a donkey vote or simply because they like his music, and it isn’t a stretch to fear that he could get far more than just 10,000 votes in a state and take away potentially millions of votes for the Democratic party.
Ofc, we won’t know how the U.S. Presidential Election will unfold until it all plays out on the 3rd of November. But, if the first six months of 2020 is anything to go by, things will probably be drastically different in the next three to four months and experts will have a clearer prediction of just how Kanye West will influence the decision for the next President of the United States.
Again I say, 2020 is truly McFucking wild. I am not here for it.