The rapper could scratch crucial votes in two territories. Between July and August, he spent almost $ 7 million out of pocket on the candidacy.
It is mathematically impossible for Kanye West to make it to the White House. The controversial rapper, who is running for president as an independent candidate in the November 3 elections, has failed to meet the requirements for his name to appear on the ballots of several key states, preventing him from gathering the votes necessary to become the 46th president of the United States. However, it will compete in a dozen states where it has managed to register on time, despite its belated decision, announced on July 4. He is not competitive in either of them, but he can hurt President Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden in races where the gap between the two is very tight. And in such polarized elections, every vote counts.
Specifically, West will be a formal candidate in Idaho, Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Vermont, Mississippi, Louisiana, Utah and Kentucky. Trump leads the polls by more than 10 points in most of those states, so his participation is not a threat. for example, where the difference between the Republican and the Democrat is 2% in favor of the former, according to the platform FiveThirtyEight, the figure of Kanye West could affect their results. “Although I get a very low percentage [en los Estados más ajustados], I may be able to make a difference, “says Christopher Devine, professor of political science at the University of Dayton (Ohio).
It’s unclear which of the top two candidates West could hurt. The general perception is that the rapper, who declared himself a great admirer of Trump, would subtract votes from Biden. Consulted by Forbes in an interview last July about this theory, West replied, “I don’t deny it.” Devine defends that there is a tendency to think that a small candidate always takes votes away from the big ones, but that it doesn’t have to be that way. “Those who vote for him want to make a statement of frustration or anger. I find it hard to believe that if West wasn’t on the ballot, they would vote for Biden, ”he adds.
West’s dragging power is unimportant in any ethnic group. One of the few polls in which her name appears, published by Politico-Morning Consult On August 12, the independent candidate achieved 2% support nationally, 4% among Hispanics and 2% among African Americans. Its highest fishing ground (6%) was registered among Generation Z voters, those born between 1994 and 2000.
Lakeyta M. Bonnette-Bailey, Professor of African American Studies at the University of Georgia and author of Pulse of the People: Political Rap Music and Black Politics, believes that it is too late to be taken seriously and rules out that the support of the black community or young people is sufficient for it to be relevant in any result. “That he is popular does not mean that they see him as a potential candidate. Young people are aware that the system is practically bipartisan and they do not want to waste their vote on someone who is not going to win, “he says.
Should it be a threat to either of the two main candidates, Bonnette-Bailey believes that West would affect Trump more, since his proposals are closer to the conservative bases than to those of the left. But he remarks that in reality “he does not have a campaign platform, only his name on some ballots.” On the campaign website, the musician lists 10 goals of his government, such as reducing student debt or reforming the judicial system, but does not clarify how he would do it.
The Federal Electoral Commission said last week that West put in between July 15 and August 31 almost seven million dollars (about 5.8 million euros) out of his pocket for the campaign. In that same period, it only raised $ 11,472 in individual contributions. Meanwhile, he continues to speak frequently with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser in the White House, with whom he has also had face-to-face meetings a couple of times. A few days ago, West said on the Nick Cannon podcast, Cannon’s Class, who had requested a meeting with former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, but that the veteran socialist had not wanted.
The controversy continues to accompany him at all times. For his name to appear on the Virginia ballot, the candidate had to gather 5,000 petitions and 13 signatures of support among voters. A Richmond court judge ruled last Thursday that Kanye West could not appear in the electoral vote because he used improper tactics to meet the requirements. Of the 13 signatures delivered, 11 were obtained by “inappropriate, fraudulent or deceptive means,” according to Judge Joi Taylor.
The presidential campaign of one of the most important musicians of the 21st century is the climax of one of the most anomalous races for the White House in recent history. The coronavirus has affected all areas of this practically virtual race between a veteran of politics, a showman and a rapper. However, the erratic behavior of the artist in recent months has redirected the debate about his participation in the elections to his state of mental health. West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and his wife, Kim Kardashian, asked fans and the media to be compassionate with him after he posted a series of posts about his personal life in July that he later deleted.
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