There’s a lot we still don’t know about the 2020 presidential election results, which are slowly coming in across the United States. We know that President Donald Trump fraudulently declared himself the winner early Wednesday morning, and that he is threatening legal action in key states like Michigan and Wisconsin. We know that mail-in ballots are still being processed in a number of states, and it’s still too soon to call a winner. And we know for certain: Kanye Omari West will not be the next president.
You may have forgotten West was even running for president, with all the chaotic energy coming from the Trump administration over the last few months. But West announced his bid for the White House over Twitter on Independence Day of this year, and after spending $10.3 million (£7.9m) on his campaign, he found his name on the ballot in just 12 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.
Although he won't be elected in any capacity, West declared on Election Day that he was voting for someone he trusts: "Me." But that's not exactly the case for the millions of Americans who opted to trust literally anyone other than Kanye West. And now, you may be wondering, how many people actually voted for the 43-year-old rapper?
Based on how important this presidential election has become, some would argue “too many.” More specifically, West managed to rack up 60,000 votes on Tuesday, with his highest count in Tennessee where 10,195 people voted for him. As the Tennessee Holler — a self-described audience-supported progressive news site — put it, “in addition to being #1 in medical bankruptcies and rural hospital closures per capita, we now also have the distinction of being #1 in votes for Kanye West.”
Perhaps even more strange are the 3,197 votes West received in Iowa, where he managed to beat Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. West also received one vote in Wyoming, where he wrote in his own name on the ballot. He shared his vote on Twitter, writing, “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.”
Unfortunately for West, he failed to receive 0.5% of the vote in any state and conceded Tuesday night, but with the promise that he would run again in 2024.
Still, some people aren’t amused by the 60,000 voters who chose Kanye as their preferred presidential candidate. As millions of people remain glued to their computer and television screens waiting for the election results to come in, many might argue that West ran a spoiler campaign that took votes away from Biden. This scenario could be especially dangerous if West garnered a significant amount of votes in important swing states, like Michigan or Wisconsin, where the race has been very close between Trump and Biden.
But because the election game in this country is bleak, and is typically decided in a handful of battleground states where West wasn’t even on the ballot, it’s likely that West’s supporters didn’t put much of a dent into Biden’s chances. If nothing else, maybe it’s this just another moment where we might consider that the Electoral College is a dated institution that doesn’t necessarily serve the majority of American voters.
No matter how you look at it, with just 60,000 votes in 12 states, it would appear that Kanye West did his Kanye Best. (I'll see myself out.)