Update (1300ET): The billionaire rap icon, who announced his entry into the presidential arena in a July 4 tweet, told election strategist Steve Kramer that he was out of the race, New York Magazine reported Tuesday. Kramer was one of the campaign staffers hired by West to help get his name on the ballot in Florida, South Carolina and other states, according to the magazine.
But now “he’s out”, Kramer told NYMag’s Ben Jacobs.
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Regardless of whether or not Kanye West’ presidential run is a gimmick, PR stunt or ploy to help Donald Trump, one thing it can’t be is ignored. West is actually polling at 2% according to a new national presidential poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, according to The Hill.
The news, although not to be taken too seriously, is still likely a minor headache for Democrats, who likely make up a majority of would-be West voters. Some have expressed concerns that West’s run – regardless of how serious – could wind up taking away crucial much-needed votes from Democrats.
In a survey without West in the poll, Joe Biden led President Trump 48% to 40% while third party candidates like Jo Jorgensen, a Libertarian, and Howie Hawkins, a member of the Green Party, both got 1% of the vote.
In the same survey, voters were asked: “If Kanye West is on the ballot in your state in the Presidential Election on 3 November 2020, for whom will you vote?”
It was then that Biden registered 48%, Trump registered 39% and Kanye registered 2%. The poll was administered less than a week after West announced, on Independence Day, that he would be running.
West told Forbes after his announcement: “It looks like one big mess to me. One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. … Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby.”
West is up against the clock if he truly hopes to get his name on the ballot: more than 6 states have filing deadlines that have already passed and several more states have deadlines this week and next.
Despite this, there is some indication West is taking things seriously. He was reported by New York Magazine to have a team in Florida last week gaining signatures for him to get on the ballot in what would be a crucial state in November.
West is arguing that he should be given more time to collect signatures and get on ballots due to the pandemic. “I’m speaking with experts, I’m going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden,” West concluded.
Good luck with that.