Kanye West’s first stab at the presidency ended with him reportedly accumulating about 60,000 votes in the 12 states where he appeared on the ballot.
The rapper appeared to concede his long shot bid graciously on Twitter Tuesday night, posting a photo of himself in front of a map of the United States behind him, along with the caption “KANYE 2024.” As Vulture notes, he’d previously tweeted, but then deleted, the objectively funnier statement, “WELP.”
KANYE 2024 pic.twitter.com/Zm2pKcn12t
— ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020
Despite the loss, West had himself a personally fulfilling Election Day. On Twitter, he documented his visit to the polls in Park County, Wyoming, where he had to write his name in as he hadn’t been able to get himself on the ballot in his current home state. Alongside a video of him feeding his ballot into a machine, West wrote, “The first vote of my life. We are here to serve. We pray for every servant leader in the world.”
The first vote of my life We are here to serve We pray for every servant leader in the world 🕊 pic.twitter.com/UWSrKslCt1
— ye (@kanyewest) November 3, 2020
According to the Park County Elections Office, write-in candidates, such as West, received 115 votes, comprising 0.69 percent of the county’s total votes (as of publication). It’s unclear how many of those 115 votes, though, were for West or other write-ins.
West’s presidential bid was, of course, always a long shot, and the majority of the states where he was able to get his name on the ballot were already leaning solidly Democrat or Republican. This was despite the effort of a group of GOP-affiliated lawyers, who spent early September scrambling to get West’s name on the ballot in swing states like Wisconsin and ostensibly thinking he could siphon votes away from Democrat Joe Biden (even though West’s platform was a deeply religious one that would likely resonate with more conservative Christian voters). While most of those efforts failed, the two quasi-swing states where West did appear on the ballot were Minnesota and Iowa: In the former, he picked up about 7,811 and in the latter he garnered 3,202 (both have been called for Biden and Trump, respectively).
West’s biggest vote tally came in the solidly red state of Tennessee where he racked up 10,258 votes. In Colorado, he garnered 6,296; in Kentucky 6,312; in Oklahoma 5,590; in Louisiana 4,894; in Arkansas 4,027; in Utah 4,344; in Vermont 1,266; and in Idaho 3,544 (all tallies via New York Times; some votes are still being counted as of publishing).
West first announced his plans to run for president a literal century ago, in 2015, during a speech at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Over the next five years, West did technically become more engaged in politics, expressing his support for Donald Trump after the 2016 election, and then spending much of 2018 vouching for the president and even visiting him in the Oval Office.
While West appeared to distance himself from Trump earlier this year, his decision to go ahead with his long shot bid — and accept support from GOP operatives — raised eyebrows over the extent to which the rapper and president were still tied.
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As for his actual self-funded campaign, West held one rally in South Carolina in July, where he notably broke down in tears while discussing abortion. The run, however, always seemed to be just another item on West’s plate, as he also busied himself with other endeavors (including, even, a bit of new music). Among his more notable campaign activities were launching a website with a 10-point plan for his presidency and lots of merch (the cheapest item a $40 hat — still available). He also dropped a handful of campaign ads online and took out two full-page advertisements in The New York Times where he detailed his vision for the future.
West even managed to earn one major endorsement for his campaign: Rob Rhinehart, the creator and co-founder of Soylent, a drinkable meal he concocted because he found food was a “large burden,” and which he named after a similar product in the movie Soylent Green. The major plot twist of the film is that the drink is made out of literal people.