Music

Here’s How Kanye West Fared In The US Election

Spoiler: He won't be the next president.

Kanye West talks about faith in first presidential campaign TV ad

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Remember back in the bygone days of 2015, when Kanye West took to the MTV Awards stage and announced, with his eyes closed and his voice trembling, that he was going to run for President in 2020? Who amongst us actually thought he’d do it?

The naysayers need not be embarrassed: Kanye has spent his entire career announcing slapdash, last-second plans and pivots. Past, present and future Kanyes are always at war, constantly saddling one another with impossible to realise fantasies and dreams that then get either ignored or flat-out abandoned.

But, surprisingly, Kanye never abandoned his Presidential plans. Or at least, not entirely. At the final possible moment, Kanye got himself on the ballot for the 2020 election. The move was so abrupt, in fact, that he barely had time to lay out his policies: his “stump speeches” were mostly just rather worrying rants about being pro-choice and the importance of religious freedoms.

So no, Kanye was never going to sweep the race as an outsider, Trump-like. But still, it’s rather surprising just how few votes that he picked up.

How Many Votes Did Kanye Get?

Kanye got 60,000 votes across 12 states. To put that in context, Joe Biden is currently sitting at 71,481,987 votes as of the time of writing, and Trump at 68,238,215.

Like I say, nobody thought that the rapper would beat the raw votes of either of those candidates (can you imagine). But there’s a possible world where he could have done better than some independents. Only, that world is pretty distant from our own — Kanye was thoroughly trounced by the Libertarian candidate for President, Dr. Jo Jorgensen, who scored 1.58 million votes.

At the very least, Kanye’s voting spread is memorable — one sixth of his votes were won in Tennessee, as NME reports. Guess Tennessee is all in on Yeezus?

Again, Kanye was always an outside chance. But his campaign was a disaster from the outset — recent reporting notes that he raised a mere $2,782 from voters in September, blowing a piddling three million of his own money on the campaign. When you compare that to the multi-billion dollar campaign to re-elect Trump, much of it raised through donations, it’s clear that West’s chances of making a real dent in the electorate were slim.

What Does The 2020 Presidential Election Mean for Ye?

Kanye’s already started bragging about his plans to run in 2024, and once again, we should take that with a significant grain of salt. But even if he does decide to run — and maybe with a little advance notice next time — there’s no real reason to worry at this stage about the idea of President Ye.

Sure, his speeches have made it clear that his policies would be disastrous. But he doesn’t appear to have much of a chance. Equating Trump and the rapper is probably a mistake — Trump was accepted by the rich, ruling class in a way that Ye never has been.

What should be more scary is the idea that Biden will win this time around, but, without the support of the House or Senate, will be ineffectual and unpopular, opening the door to an extremely right-wing Presidential Candidate in 2024 — someone like Tom Cotton. I’m not saying that’s likely; I’m just saying it’s probably more in the realm of possibility than a Kanye sweep.

Anyway, till then, Kanye will probably spend the next few months being a source of some mockery for his campaign. After all, he’s already getting roundly called out, most memorably by Chuck D, who called his vanity run “absolutely the worst epitome of narcissism.”

Sadly, that’s the way you’d describe so many of Kanye’s current projects, from his political aspirations to the waning merit of his albums. Like the man himself once said: I miss the old Ye.