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East to West: How Kanye’s Presidential Run Could Impact America from Coast to Coast

Updated: Jul 25


BY: Nathaniel Saad



While celebrations of historical independence and lights coloured the skies of neighbourhoods everywhere in the United States on July 4th, a new type of firework lit up the American political scene with Kanye West confirming his intended candidacy for the 2020 republican nomination and, eventually, the presidency of the United States. 


Most people were previously aware of the possibility of West 2020 from when the rapper announced his intent to run back in 2016. However, the reality of that chance didn't hit people until recently, when Americans began to realize what impact it would have on the 2020 Federal Elections. Kanye may turn out to be more than just a guy running for president to promote his album; everything he does can have an impact on the future of his nation, particularly negatively for the Democratic party as well.


West’s announcement and his getting involved in the political world comes at an opportune time for Republicans. Amidst the Black Lives Matter movement, all eyes will turn to the African-American candidate, particularly in an age so shaken by racial turmoil. Many are looking towards leaders who diverge from the typical “old white male” stereotype we so often find in our current governments, and whether or not this is the right approach when selecting candidates, it’s certainly the one that’s trending. However, those who traditionally vote red can breathe more easily than those who vote blue as Kanye will most likely do the most damage in a specific area. The 43 year-old rapper strikes a chord with two of the Democrats historically more impactful voting groups: Young voters and Black voters. As a world-famous artist and someone who is decades younger than Joe Biden (and President Trump), Kanye certainly has the attention of young voters, many of whom have heard his name since infancy and have listened to his music at some point or other. This could be potentially problematic for the Democrats as the majority of young people vote blue. In fact, 58% of 18-29 year old validated voters in 2016 voted for Clinton, compared to the 28% for Trump. When it comes to race, the same trend can be seen in favour of the Democrats as 89% of black voters supported the Democratic nominee in 2016. This means that as an independent, Kanye will more likely steal voters that are less likely to vote Republican, increasing the chances of a two-term Trump presidency. 


That being said, West has significant hurdles ahead that could prohibit him from even running in several states. In fact, he’s already missed the filing deadline for more than several states including Texas and New York, two of the most populated states. While it is impossible to tell whether or not he will actually end up running, the possibility of him having a significant impact on the outcome looms over Biden like a storm cloud. In any case, Kanye’s determination certainly didn’t seem impacted when he told the media concerning his presidential run: “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life, I’m doing to win.”




*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.

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