A startling story surfaced late last week. From Forbes:
Amid various reports that Republican and Trump-affiliated political operatives are trying to get Kanye West onto various state ballots for November’s presidential election, the billionaire rap superstar indicated, in an interview by text today, that he was in fact running to siphon votes from the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
Asked about that directly, West said that rather than running for president, he was “walking,” quickly adding that he was “walking . . . to win.” When it was pointed out that he actually can’t win in 2020—that he won’t be on enough ballots to yield 270 electoral votes, and that a write-in campaign isn’t feasible—and thus was serving as a spoiler, West replied: “I’m not going to argue with you. Jesus is King.”
Political scientist and election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer told, “When you think about Donald Trump, they talk about this narrative that is spun out in the media about him winning [in 2016] over the Midwest, and you had all these states that slipped over to Trump. But really, that’s not mathematically actually what happened.”
It’s also important, Bitecofer said, to consider that Donald Trump did not secure a solid majority of voters in 2016. “And so when we look at that third party defection, it’s way more than the loss margin, which was about 0.7 of a point between Donald Trump and Clinton. And when you look at Donald Trump in almost every swing state, he wins the state, but he’s a plurality winner. He doesn’t come close to cracking 50 percent.”
She announced, “When you are looking at the Trump reelection strategy, if you’re running the Donald Trump campaign and I’ve been saying this for about two years now, you’ve got a problem, right? I mean, you’ve got a guy who ran his initial run, could not crack 50 percent, didn’t win the popular vote, and hasn’t become more popular. And he isn’t going to be able to do it this time… So if you’re looking at how do you reelect this man, you realize, OK, third party voting really played a big role in 2016. And if I don’t work or if I don’t recreate that, then I’m in trouble.”
Then argued, “I’m telling you, this could be a problem. Kanye West has almost universal name ID, which is the best asset somebody could have. And he’s a celebrity. And we are a country that loves celebrities. Trump has taught us the value of that.”