Kanye West at Coachella 2019. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
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Opinion: Kanye West takes over 2020 election

Kanye West announced his 2020 presidential run on Twitter. Many questions have been circulating on what this means for the 2020 election and how a celebrity such as West can jump on the ballot. 

West announced his run on July 4 and it slowly began to trend. Many noticed its support from entrepreneur Elon Musk. 

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” West said in his July 4 tweet. “I am running for president of the United States!”

The jokes of West’s run for the presidency have been going on for many years, originally gearing for the 2024 election. This last-minute tweet, however, shifted the gears. 

According to CNN, West has made several comments about running for president, beginning in 2015.

The next question after such a statement as this is how reliable it can be. It was announced over Twitter by a celebrity who has been joking about this sort of thing for many years. The reality is that a 2020 election win is not in the cards for West. 

With the election only four months away, West still has some things to do to prepare. According to CNN, he has to “register with the Federal Election Commission, present a campaign platform, collect enough signatures to get on the November ballot and more.” CNN also mentioned West has missed the deadline in many states to file as an independent candidate. 

Despite the fact that there is no real promise of West getting on the 2020 ballot, there has been much unrest on how West will impact the votes for President Donald Trump’s reelection or the election of Democratic candidate Joe Biden through write-in ballots. 

Some fear that it will become an advantage for Trump as Democratic votes are put towards a write-in vote for West. There is speculation that this was West’s original intention due to his well-known support for Trump. 

Others see West’s run as a way for Biden to win based on the demographic West is pulling. Either way, West will more than likely help shift the votes for each candidate rather than win the presidency himself due to the fact that many influential states have passed their deadline for write-in candidates.

Deadlines to file as an independent candidate for president have already passed in states like New York, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Maine and North Carolina, according to Forbes. They are also fast approaching in Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and South Carolina. These states would make up just 375 electoral votes available — a difficult jumping-off point in the race to 270, according to Forbes

According to Independent, the write-in candidate position West would take “has never won a presidential election in the US.” Therefore, West’s run is simply an intention to split the votes rather than win.

West is known to struggle with bipolar disorder, and many speculations are being made that this tweet was simply because he was going through an episode. An interview with Forbes sparked this theory when West made mention of running under the birthday party because “‘when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.’”