Is Kanye West serious about White House run? Experts say it could just be a PR stunt to get some attention

The musician's announcement of a 2020 bid elicited Elon Musk's support, but not many are taking him seriously


                            Is Kanye West serious about White House run? Experts say it could just be a PR stunt to get some attention
(Getty Images)

Kanye West, days after announcing his candidacy for the 2020 presidential elections, has seemingly not taken any steps to register himself, fuelling speculations that his announcement was just a PR stunt. The rapper took to Twitter on the Fourth of July to write: "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." 

West's announcement generated a furor on social media, with many of his supporters, including his wife Kim Kardashian, backing his decision. However, he has also received heavy criticism and mockery for announcing a candidacy this late. The fashion designer, who has not done any political organizing to launch his bid for officer yet, has also missed multiple deadlines to appear on the election ballot as an independent candidate. According to BallotPedia, an independent presidential candidate is required petition for placement on the general election ballot in all 50 states, including Washington DC."

West has missed at least six states' deadline key for the electoral college including New York, Texas, North Carolina, Maine, and New Mexico. More deadlines are coming up in the next few weeks in West's home state Illinois and others like Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Utah, and many others.

Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Getty Images)

Experts, however, believe that West's attempt to run for office this late does not appear to be serious. Robert Y. Shapiro, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government and Professor of International and Public Affairs in the Columbia University Department of Political Science, told Billboard: "It's certainly the latest I can remember ... because third-party candidates usually try to get in early and get on the ballot in all the states." Shapiro also speculated that it could be a public relations stunt in an attempt to draw attention to him. 

If not an independent candidate, West could also opt for being a write-in candidate, however, this also comes with a set of requirements. A write-in presidential candidate is one whose name does not appear on the ballot, but voters may still vote for the person by writing in their name during polls. Nearly 33 states “require a write-in presidential candidate to file some paperwork in advance of an election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted. The remaining states do not require presidential write-in candidates to file special paperwork before the election," according to BallotPedia.

John Mark Hansen, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, remarked on the missed deadlines, saying: "If West were serious about this, he would have had to have started a long time ago. Some [states] allow payment of a filing fee, but most require petitions, which can involve thousands of signatures. That’s a lot of door to door and shopping center parking lots. He’d better get busy!"

The experts speculated that Kanye's presidential bid could not be serious and added that even if it was a PR stunt, he would succeed in siphoning off votes from the Republican nominee Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

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