After earning less than 60,000 votes and appearing on only 12 state ballots, rapper Kanye West tweeted “KANYE 2024” with a photo of himself amidst a filled-in red and blue map of the US.
West’s failed campaign is the result of a messy, late-stage entry into the presidential race, along with a severe lack of hands-on community outreach to bolster voters to his side, and generalized campaign messaging at a time when the US is at its most divided.
In his campaign ad, which aired a meager three weeks before the election, West stressed the importance of prayer, family, and justice with no reference to issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, or the economy. West’s 10-point-plan calls for faith, reducing household debt, the military, policing, and foreign affairs without providing detailed plans on how to implement his goals.
Additionally, West ran as an independent during an election which saw a severe drop in third-party votes. According to NBC News, the independent vote this year dropped to around 1.5% from around 5% in 2016.
In an interview with Billboard, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government and Professor of International and Public Affairs in the Columbia University Department of Political Science Robert Y. Shapiro said that “Third party candidates did less well than in 2016 in terms of playing a spoiler role this year because people didn’t want to waste their vote — they wanted to vote for Trump or Biden, because this election was deemed very important.”
Mike Muse, political commentator and host of the Mike Muse Show on SiriusXM Urban View says that the next four years would give Kanye the chance to further bolster his supporters vis social media, as well as give him the time to figure out the right direction for his campaign.
In an election day tweet, West commented on being a first-time voter, saying, “God is so good. Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it’s for someone I truly trust… me.”