In the weeks since Kanye West announced that he was really and truly running for president, political reporters have approached his potential candidacy with a bit of caution — not just because he would be a long shot who already missed deadlines, but also over calls by his wife Kim Kardashian for “compassion” over his mental health.
This week, a number of outlets have reported that GOP operatives have been assisting West in his efforts to get on the ballot in states like Wisconsin and Ohio, two states where polls show Donald Trump and Joe Biden are in a tight race.
In an interview with Forbes today, West did not deny that he was a “spoiler,” given that he does not have a shot at reaching 270 electoral votes. Asked by Forbes’ Randall Lane whether he was serving as a spoiler, West replied via text, “I’m not going to argue with you. Jesus is King.”
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West previously has been among Trump’s highest-profile boosters in showbiz, having visited the Oval Office in 2018 in a memorable meeting with the president that was opened up to the media. Trump this week denied that he had anything to do with getting West on the ballot, but said, “I like Kanye very much.”
“We’ll see what happens,” the former Celebrity Apprentice host said.
West’s effort to get on the ballot in Wisconsin — likely to be one of the most-contested states come the fall — doesn’t mean that he actually will make it. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Thursday that there is some question as to whether Lane Ruhland, an attorney who has worked for the state Republican Party, dropped off the West ballot signatures on time.
Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by just over 22,000 votes, enough of a margin for a third party candidate to make a difference. Recent polls have ex-VP Biden ahead by around 12 points in the Badger State, but that is widely expected to get much closer as we heads towards November.
Dominic Patten contributed to this report
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