Updated: Oct 18, 2021
On the night of July 4, Kanye West announced a presidential bid to his nearly thirty million Twitter followers. At the time of writing, the tweet has about one million likes, half a million retweets, and nearly one hundred thousand comments. Businessman Elon Musk soon tweeted his support.
You have my full support! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 5, 2020
In order to carry out a campaign seriously, West would have to get on state ballots by securing the support of a smaller political party or by registering as an independent. The latter is more difficult, however, as it would require procuring tens of thousands of signatures in some states and because the deadline has passed in Indiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Texas. West could also pursue a write-in campaign in any state.
Rachel Bitecofer, election forecaster and senior fellow at the Niskanen Center, told USA TODAY that a serious West campaign would “not be an insignificant threat” to the Biden campaign due to his celebrity and Biden’s at times precarious position with African-American voters.
There has been speculation that this bid is an effort to advertise West’s upcoming album, God’s Country, the first single of which was released this week. Editor of Medium publication GEN Mag Hanif Abdurraqib tweeted, “have to say I am once again surprised to see that there are many people who appear to be unfamiliar with an album promotion cycle.”
A Short History of West’s Presidential Plans
On Aug. 30, 2015, West said in his acceptance remarks for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs, “I have decided in 2020 to run for president,” an announcement which, apparently, his wife and celebrity Kim Kardashian West was not expecting.
On April 24, 2018, West appeared to allude to a 2024 candidacy by posting seeming campaign poster mock-ups including the phrase “Keep America Great” and the hashtag #Kanye2024. While that tweet was deleted soon after, another one reading simply “2024” has stayed up.
2024 — ye (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
On Oct. 11, 2018, West visited the White House where the president was asked whether he thought West could be a future presidential candidate, and responded “could very well be.”
West added, “Only after 2024.”
On Nov. 7, 2019, West reaffirmed his 2024 bid at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City, and when the audience laughed in response, he asked, “What y’all laughing at?” He then assured the audience that by 2024, his brand Yeezy “will have created so many jobs, I’m not gonna run [for President], I’ll walk.”