Kanye West tweeted Saturday he would be running for president in 2020, following through with a promise he made in 2015 that he would throw his name in the ring. Now, the rapper celebrated his Independence Day announcing his bid and giving a general sense of what his platform may be.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” West tweeted. “I am running for president of the United States.”
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
— ye (@kanyewest) July 5, 2020
West tagged his post with the hashtag #2020VISION, which began trending on the social media platform shortly after.
It also gained the attention of Elon Musk — CEO of SpaceX — who responded to the tweet, offering West “my full support!”
“I have decided […] to run for president.”
This comes nearly five years after West’s initial promise he would run for a 2020 presidential bid during a speech at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.
“I don’t know what I finna lose after this. It don’t matter, though; It’s not about me. It’s about ideas. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth,” West told the crowd. “And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.”
Then West brought up the possibility to run again in 2018 at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, saying he would run in 2024.
At the time, fans and audience members weren’t sure if he was serious. But with his tweet on Friday, it seems that West might be ready to kickstart a presidential campaign.
Could a presidential bid even happen?
It’s unclear whether a presidential campaign for the rapper will become a reality, because of the hoops West would need to jump through in order for his name to appear on the ballot.
West’s decision comes late, as the Republican party has already named President Donald Trump as its nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden deemed the presumptive nominee for the Democratic party. It’s unlikely West could unseat either of those candidates.
West would need to register as an independent candidate in several states to put his name on the November ballot. But that comes with a few requirements.
An independent candidate would need to petition for placement in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., to show up on the November general election ballot, according to Ballotpedia. The required number of signatures needed to be considered for a presidential bid varies from state to state, as well as the required methods for obtaining signatures.
Some states may require a flat signature requirement whereas others may calculate the required signature threshold as percentages of voter registration.
Another scenario could be West running as a write-in candidate — but that also comes with some requirements.
According to Ballotpedia, 33 different states would require West to file paperwork in advance of the election. Nine other states require a special kind of paperwork for write-in candidates.
However, if West finds a way to get his name on the ballot it’s possible the celebrity could take votes from either President Trump or Biden.
The internet responds
Within hours of West tweeting his plans, the rapper’s presidential bid began trending on the social media platform. Users all have different takes, with some in support and others who are less-than-excited.
Up until this point, West has been a vocal support of President Donald Trump — meeting with him several times in the Oval Office. West also openly supported President Trump when he was the musical guest in September 2018, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while offering a political rant at the end of the show.
President Trump hasn’t responded on Twitter to the possibility of West running against him for the presidential bid.
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