After 11 days of anxiety, a dropped MAGA hat, and a Debra Messing-induced political feud, Kanye West has dropped out of the 2020 U.S. presidential race. On July 14, a member of West’s campaign team confirmed that, even after amassing a 180-person campaign team in Florida, West would no longer be running.
Before he even announced his play for the Oval Office, West had unprecedented ground to cover entering the race this late as a member of his own independent party he called the "Birthday Party." Right out of the gate, West had missed the voter registration deadline in six states: North Carolina, Texas, New York, Maine, New Mexico, and Indiana. But the pressure was on. If he could get his campaign up and running, West (technically) had a chance to register as an Independent candidate for South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan by the end of July.
“He’s out. All our stuff is canceled,” Steve Kramer, a member of West’s campaign team told New York Magazine's Intelligencer on July 14. “I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye...Any candidate running for president for the first time goes through these hiccups.”
Although Kim Kardashian's husband may not be running in 2020 anymore, he's made his White House aspirations known for the last five years, so it may not be the last time he mentions it. Before we start our West 2024 campaign, though, here's a breakdown of what happened in the 11 days that Kanye was running for president.
Day 1: West announced his bid for the presidency on the Fourth of July, tweeting: “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.”
Day 2: On July 5, the internet was abuzz with talk and takes on West’s run. On Twitter, West tweeted a photo of a side project of his, YZY SHLTRS. The futuristic-looking structures are intended to provide housing for homeless people. This same day, a feud between Will & Grace actress Debra Messing and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner becomes one of Twitter's biggest trending moments.
Day 3: West appears quiet on social media as celebrities, politicians, and basically everyone speculates the seriousness of his run and what a President Kanye West reality would look like. A debate breaks out about Black voters turning support over to West, after Nina Turner tweeted, "Black voters are not owned by anyone. Our vote should be earned every election cycle."
Day 4: July 7, President Donald Trump responds to news of West’s run in an interview with RealClearPolitics. Given that West hadn’t officially filed paperwork, Trump appeared to question whether West would actually run. “It’d have to be limited to certain states, because in some states the deadline has been missed,” said Trump appearing to not have a problem with West running. “If he did it, he would have to view this as a trial run for what’s going to happen in four years.”
Day 5: Forbes’ interview with West discussing his campaign plans and platforms comes out. In it, West talks about protecting America in whatever foreign policy he pursues, implementing the “framework of Wakanda” as a management model, and having serious reservations about a coronavirus vaccine. Additionally, Billboard confirms with the Federal Election Commission that as of July 8, West still had not filed the necessary paperwork to make his bid official.
Day 6: On July 9, in a video shared by West on Twitter, he went down to the county clerk’s office in Cody, Wyoming to register to vote for the first time. “I want to show you how I just registered to vote,” the video starts. Text displayed in the video reads: “I thank God I am so humbled at the opportunity to serve. Vote.” However, a different timeline emerges in the Intelligencer story. According to the outlet, West is already out of the race there at this point.
Day 7: The July 10 deadline to get on the ballot in Nevada passes and West has not posted anything more on his campaign status.
Day 8: Elon Musk backpedals on his support of West’s run on July 11. In a now-deleted tweet, Musk appeared to waiver responding to one of West’s tweets during a Q&A with Forbes in which West called vaccines “the mark of the beast.” “We may have more differences of opinion than I anticipated,” Musk tweeted.
Day 9: Chance the Rapper floated a question to his followers asking why they supported Biden more than West adding, “I finally got the answer now. I understand. Yall trust Biden more than yall trust Ye. I think I understand why, I just don’t feel the same way.” Chance became the top Twitter trend of the day, causing a massive amount of speculation over why the rapper would even voice support for West, whose run was very unlikely to see the ballot at all.
Are u more pro biden or anti ye and why? I get that you’ll want to reply that you’re just tryna “get trump out” but in this hypothetical scenario where you’re replacing Trump, can someone explain why Joe Biden would be better??— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2020
Day 10: A U.S. presidential poll reveals that West had the support of about two percent of voters overall if he were to run against Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Although this was a small margin, if that percentage came out of either candidate's pool of voters, it could have created enough of a divide.
Day 11: Kanye drops out of the race on Tuesday night. Had he remained in the race, he would have needed to have already obtained 132,781 signatures to be eligible to run in Florida by this time.