Rapper Kanye West announced on Twitter yesterday that he is running for president, using the hashtag #2020Vision:
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
Billionaire Elon Musk tweeted his approval:
You have my full support!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020
The question remains whether West is really running or just seeking attention. Supposing he is actually running, it could be too late to appear on the ballot in several states due to expired filing deadlines. According to Hunter Schwarz, the deadline for Independent candidates has already passed in Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Texas (According to Richard Winger’s comment below, the deadline for New York is July 30). West could still qualify as a write-in candidate in most, if not all these states. In 2016, Evan McMullin announced his Independent candidacy for president in August of that year and still appeared on the ballot in 11 states and as a write-in in most others. However, some laws have changed since 2016 and petitioning is more difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As IPR readers may recall, the late 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Marc Allan Feldman interpreted West’s lyrics to be libertarian and asked him to be his running mate. It is not believed West ever responded to Feldman’s request. Since the 2016 election, West has been vocal in his support for President Donald Trump. He has appeared at the White House wearing a red Make America Great Again hat. Although West has previously expressed interest in running for president he was not expected to run until 2024.
Although some have speculated a West candidacy could draw African American support from Trump, the opposite may be true. It has been suggested West would pull more support from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden since African Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. That may be the intent.
The Reform Party has invited West to have a discussion with their presidential nominee Rocky De La Fuente:
We welcome Kanye West to the #Election2020. If you are interested @kanyewest, we'd love to have a public online discussion w/ you and our nominee @joinrocky Rocky de la Fuente. Not a debate. The two of you talking about your experiences and ways to make America better. DM us.
— Reform Party (@ReformParty) July 5, 2020