KANYE West’s decision to run for President was, at best, ill-advised, and at worst, destructive – but could the hip-hop artist actually end up swinging the election for Donald Trump?
For some reason, the rapper and producer did not even go through the motions to get on the ballot for all 50 states – but that doesn’t mean he isn’t pining for votes.
Yesterday Mr West took out two full page ads in the print version of the New York Times – a state he is not on the ballot in.
He also appears to think he has a shot – Mr West recently, and unknowingly, shared a fake poll showing he had 19% of the votes in Kentucky so far (?)
A supporter of Trump’s apparently faith-based premiership so far, Kanye jumped off the Trump train in July when launching his campaign – finally removing his MAGA hat.
But some fear that he has only entered the race as a spoiler – that is, to draw younger voters away from Biden.
When asked about doing damage to the former VP’s campaign, he told Forbes: “I’m not denying it; I just told you.”
Mr West only qualified for the ballot in 12 states – Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.
Bizarrely, he is also Roque De La Fuente’s running mate in several states, including California – but this is likely to shift only a nominal amount of votes.
|State||Affiliation (based on current polling)|
|Vermont||Bernie Town – Democrat all the way|
So we can already discount the majority of states Mr West is qualified for. The only races he can possibly affect are in Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, and most importantly, Iowa.
A state with a famously low bar to run for President, Kanye joins a lineup of an absurd number of candidates for the state which has Biden up by around 15 points, according to latest polling.
Global Strategy Group’s survey conducted last month, the only one to include third parties, shows ‘Other’ – which excludes the Greens and the Republicans – at 6%. You’d expect a fair amount goes to Mr West.
But the sheer gap between Biden and Trump means Joe won’t be looking over his shoulder.
Verdict – Kanye may dent Biden’s lead, but won’t affect the race.
The Trafalgar Group polling a few days ago puts Kanye West on 3.3% polling – slightly more than the gap by which Trump lags behind Biden (44.8% to 48%).
It’s a close one – and if preferences translate into votes it could earn Trump 10 crucial electoral votes.
Verdict – not clear, but Kanye could well be a spoiler here.
Polls don’t even have Kanye on the list of choices. In any sense, this is Trump country, despite only being considered ‘likely Republican’ by the New York Times.
Verdict – No effect.
Opinion Insight’s poll earlier this month showed Biden up by just 2 points – and Kanye on 1%.
This race is going to be extremely close, with rural conservative turnout crucial for Trump.
Kanye appears to be the largest third party factor in Iowa, with Jo Jorgensen and Howie Hawkins barely registering any numbers in the polls.
Verdict – As with Minnesota, this is an interesting one – he could well make the difference.
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