By Dewi MorrisOn the fourth of July, as Independence Day celebrations took place across the United States, rapper and husband to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, announced his candidacy for the 2020 US Presidential elections over Twitter.
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
Many have claimed the rapper’s Twitter announcement as a publicity stunt, with his wife Kim Kardashian West retweeting her husband’s news with the United States flag emoji.
Entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and Space X, Elon Musk, later endorsed West on Twitter, perhap unsurprisingly as the two are known to be friends.
You have my full support!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020
Kanye West previously caused controversy in the music industry by being a vocal supporter of President Trump. In 2018, he visited the White House, sporting the Trump campaign’s ‘Make America Great Again’ logoed cap. The meeting later revealed video and images of West hugging the President, whilst exclaiming “I love this guy right here.”
Following remarks made by West in 2018 suggesting he may run for President – speculation which yielded no further response until now – Trump admitted West “could very well be” the next President.
However, the 21-time Grammy Award winner has not appeared on the Federal Election Commission since his announcement on Saturday. It is unclear whether West has filled official paperwork to appear on the ballot, and in some states, filing the paperwork in July would already be too late to appear on the Electoral ballots.
With the election only four months away, West would need to run as an Independent and would require the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot. In the states of Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Texas, the deadline has already passed. Despite this, West still has time to run an official campaign in other states.
Some have speculated that Kanye West’s Presidential campaign may be a ploy to split votes from Democrat Joe Biden.
This US election has been perceived to be a race between the Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and Republican incumbent Donald Trump. Biden is currently leading the polls, with a predicted 307 electoral college votes compared to Trump’s predicted 148.
Following the recent protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, it is believed the young voter turnout will be higher than in previous years. Many on social media have made the assumption that rapper Kanye West may have joined the Presidential race in order to draw young and BAME voters from Biden’s campaign.
Despite the late run, there is a small possibility that West’s campaign could make an impact in the Presidential race. Independents and Third parties have, in the past, split main candidates’ votes. In 2000, Ralph Nader stood for the Green Party, and although winning 3% of the national vote, this was widely thought to have lost Democrat’s Al Gore the presidency.