Is Kanye West serious about a presidential run? If that’s the case, here’s what he’ll need to do to catch up to Trump.
Suppose Kanye West is serious about running for president. In that case, he will have significant challenges mounting a meaningful campaign fewer than four months before the November 3 presidential election in the United States.
West, who announced his candidacy on Twitter on July 4th, will have to work quickly to get his name on the ballot with Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic likely nominee Joe Biden in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States ??! #2020VISION
— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
West, a Trump supporter, would be able to do so in one of two ways. According to James McCann, a political scientist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, he could try to gain support from a minor political party.
If he can’t get a party to help him get on the ballot, another option is to run as an independent candidate.
However, in a few places, such as New Mexico and North Carolina, the deadline for registering in this manner has already passed.
Getting on the ballot as an independent would also necessitate employing staff or volunteers to quickly collect tens of thousands of signatures around the country before additional registration periods conclude in August and September, a task made more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s difficult to imagine Kanye West having a field operation,” McCann said, adding that West might also ask followers to write his name on the ballot.
West, who is also famous for his marriage to reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, has yet to file any official paperwork to appear on state election ballots. West’s publicist could not be reached for comment by Reuters.
West, a superstar adept at seizing the spotlight, has previously stated his intention to run for president without really doing so. He signed a 10-year deal with Gap Inc last week to launch a clothing line under the “Yeezy” brand name.
He made news in October 2018 when he gave a meandering, profanity-laced address at the White House in which he referenced alternate universes and his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Three weeks later, he announced that he was leaving politics and that he believed he had been duped into spreading views he didn’t agree with.
According to Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, even with a serious campaign, West is unlikely to garner more than a few percentage points of the vote, stealing similar percentages of votes from Trump and Biden.
“He still has a long way to go to persuade us that he’s serious,” Sabato remarked.
Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer who launched his candidacy in August 2016, was the most recent contender to invest major effort into starting a presidential campaign just months before the election. McMullin was only on the ballot in 11 states, where he received 0.53 percent of the vote.
“There is a way to run as an outsider, but it’s difficult and expensive, and I believe West, or anyone else, has missed their window of opportunity to make a substantial effect,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan campaign analysis website.