Kanye West’s Presidential Hopes Turn to Dust on Election Night
The Trump-supporting third-party candidate had an incredibly weak showing in the 12 states he was on the ballot.
Tuesday morning, Kanye West cast his first ever vote for the President of the United States. West, who was not on the ballot in Wyoming where he lives, wrote in his own name. “God is so good,” the 43-year-old tweeted. “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.”
But when polls closed hours later, it remained unclear just how many others did. After funneling some $10.3 million into the campaign, West appeared on the ballot in just 12 states. The Late Registration rapper missed the filing deadline in most states and lost several legal battles in a handful of others. Of the states where he did make the ballot—listed under the “Birthday Party”—most were Republican strongholds: Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, Idaho, and Tennessee. West appeared on the ballot of just three competitive states: Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. The 12th was Vermont.
The math was never on West’s side—no combination of votes in those states would get him to the 270 electoral votes needed to take the Oval Office. The most recent polling on West’s campaign forecast he’d capture 0.0 percent of the vote.
By the time California polls closed, that more or less looked true. The rapper hadn’t scrapped together more than a few thousand votes in any one state. In Oklahoma, Utah, Minnesota, and Vermont, West laid claim to a whopping 0.4 percent of the vote; in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee, West pulled in 0.3 percent; in Louisiana, Iowa, and Colorado, that portion dropped to 0.2 percent. (Idaho had not yet reported by press time).
West has been accused by several outlets of running a spoiler campaign. Both the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have denied coordinating with West. But when asked about the accusations in an interview with Forbes, the rapper did not deny it. “I’m not going to argue with you,” he said. “Jesus is King.”
In September, The Daily Beast reported on the group of former GOP operatives involved in the Yeezus artist’s presidential big. His political team brought on Republican stalwart Nathan Sproul, whose firm Lincoln Strategy Group worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. West’s office also funneled millions into a strategist group called Fortified Consulting, which shares an address with Lincoln Strategy.
Another strategy group run by Sproul became the center of a 2012 scandal, when three canvassers pleaded guilty to felony charges of voter registration form destruction in Florida. Sproul and his firm claimed to have no knowledge of the behavior, but the RNC later cut ties with the group.
In the days before the election, West encouraged fans in California to write him in on their ballots. But the 43-year-old already appeared on the state’s ballot, albeit not as a presidential candidate. Car salesman and far-right candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra, who ran on the American Independent Party ticket, listed West as his vice-presidential pick. West has not publicly addressed the nomination and it remains unclear whether he agreed to the arrangement. (West’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment).
On Election Day, West’s wife Kim Kardashian also tweeted about voting—sharing an infographic about voter rights. She did not mention her husband. Just after 9 p.m. PT, Kanye posted a picture of himself in front of the split electoral map. “WELP,” he wrote. “KANYE 2024.”