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What are the implications of Kanye West running for President? Show more Show less
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On Saturday 4 July 2020, billionaire rapper Kanye West announced he was running for President. In a Tweet to his 29 million followers, West wrote: "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." This is not the first time West has announced a bid for Presidency. But many believe this time he plans to act on his plans. Little is known about his policy agenda, or what his election vision entails. So, what are the implications of Kanye running for office?

There are no implications to Kanye West running for president Show more Show less

Kanye has said he will run for office before, without following through. And were Ye to run, with just four months to go before the election, it's too late for him to have any meaningful impact.
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Kanye West cannot win the US election

Kanye has made his decision to put in a 2020 election bid too late to make a difference to the election outcome.
America Democrats Election Kanye West Music Politics Republicans

Context

Kanye's rash decision to stand for President comes just four months before the vote.

The Argument

Kanye is unable to win the election because his decision to stand has come too late. In several states the deadlines have passed to enter as an independent candidate. The include New York, Texas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Maine and Indiana. Cumulatively these states account for 102 electoral votes. These are critical to winning the Presidency. This is not the only step he will need to take before becoming an official candidate. As James McCann, political scientist at Purdue University notes: "It's hard to see West having a field operation." His comment comes in response to critics who point to the lengthy process any candidate must go through, including mobilising a team to campaign for the necessary tens of thousands of votes to get him on the ballot in other states before their August/September deadlines. Given this, Kanye cannot win the election and can only have a very limited impact on its outcome.

Counter arguments

Kanye's Twitter announcement that he is running for President has already received more than half a million Retweets. And endorsements from high profile public figures including Elon Musk. If this is a question of gaining traction or votes, he already has a PR machine at his fingertips. Were he not to gain the required number of votes beforehand, there are alternative ways for Kanye to be voted in. Citizens are able to write in their preferred candidate even where they are not officially on the ballot. If he succeeded in getting enough write in votes, Kanye could win in states where he is not registered.

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 10:12 UTC

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