flops Kanye

Kanye flops among Black voters – POLITICO

The POLITICO/Morning Consult findings help explain why strategists from both parties said in interviews that they don’t see him as a factor in the race, at least not yet. West has successfully filed paperwork as a third-party candidate in fewer than a dozen states and Republicans in battleground states such as Wisconsin and Ohio have organized to get him on the ballot.

Fueling suspicion of the rapper’s effort is the fact that some of the organizers are Trump supporters and Republican strategists with at least loose connections to the president’s reelection effort. They include Lane Ruhland, a former general counsel for the Wisconsin Republican Party who has also represented the Trump reelection campaign and dropped off West’s nominating papers. Gregg Keller, a veteran GOP operative who formerly served as executive director of the American Conservative Union, has been spearheading the West campaign.

But a number of Democratic strategists said that the framing of West — a Black man and popular rap artist — as an inherently appealing presidential candidate for Black voters reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of both West and Black voters. While African Americans are Democrats’ most loyal voting bloc, West frequently espouses GOP talking points on issues like abortion and the legacy of slavery. His most notable political appearances of the past three years have been in tandem with Trump, whose disapproval rating sits at 79 percent with Black voters.

“The bottom line is that Kanye West is an entertainer. That’s not to say that he can’t participate in electoral politics, but his candidacy is more a distraction,” said Derrick Clay, an Ohio-based strategist and chair of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus Foundation. Clay said the GOP’s propping up of Kanye is a reflection of their fear of the millennial and suburban vote, two groups that are polling in Biden’s favor.

“I think that strategy is going to backfire on them,” he continued.

West is most popular among Gen Zers, a majority of whom will be eligible to cast votes for the first time in November. His favorable ratings with the demographic are at 31 percent. However, 6 percent said they would vote for him.

More, West’s lack of a clear policy platform outside his disdain for Democratic politics is giving his small network of supporters little to cling to. His campaign website is a single page with a laundry list of goals the rapper has for his presidency, including reducing the national debt and reforming the criminal justice system. The 10 points are accompanied by Bible verses. He has held one campaign rally since announcing his candidacy, which prompted his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to publicly address his mental health struggles.

It remains unclear whether West will appear on the ballot in key states. He narrowly met the signature requirement to get on the ballot in Ohio, while in Wisconsin, he missed the deadline for qualifying by just minutes. Elections officials in both states are sorting through his paperwork to determine whether he will be allowed on the presidential ballot.

West missed the deadline to file as a third party candidate in 10 states but has said he will rely on write-in ballots to make him competitive in states where his name is not printed on the ballot.

Trump has been aggressively courting Black voters, hoping to cut into Biden’s margin. His campaign has run advertisements courting African Americans and has highlighted Biden’s prominent role in passing the 1984 crime bill, which resulted in the widespread imprisonment of Black people. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the reelection campaign announced plans to open storefronts stocked with Trump campaign gear in urban areas.

Trump received just 8 percent of the Black vote in 2016, but his advisers argue that if he could get into the double digits it could alter the outcome of a close race. Those efforts, however, could be complicated by Biden’s decision to tap Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Still, Democratic operatives say they are paying close attention to West.

“It is clear that Republicans and Trump think they will benefit from having Kanye West on the ballot. To counter his propped-up candidacy, we have to engage young Black voters early and consistently on the issues that matter to them most and through the voices of people who understand their struggles and concerns,” said Justin Myers, CEO of For Our Future, a union-funded super PAC focused on organizing.

Other Democratic operatives see Republicans’ efforts to help West as not only futile but also slightly insidious, given his fragile mental state.

“I do think Kanye is, unfortunately, at the whims of folks who don’t have his, his daughter’s, his children’s best interests in mind with their policy,” said Quentin James, executive director of The Collective PAC. “To be helping that, I think, is just sad. And I think they’re taking advantage of his mental health situation to be very honest.”

The Trump campaign said it has nothing to do with West’s campaign.

“We have no knowledge of anything Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.

James also added that he does not underestimate the threat of a third party challenger who could siphon Democratic votes.

“I think this is a serious moment, in that Kanye West could peel off some of those voters who feel like Donald Trump or Joe Biden isn’t the answer to them,” James said. “I think people should know if you aren’t supporting Joe Biden or if you’re voting for Kanye West, you’re voting for Donald Trump. A vote for Kanye West is a vote for Donald Trump.”

Morning Consult is a global data intelligence company, delivering insights on what people think in real time by surveying tens of thousands across the globe every single day.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents: Toplines | Crosstabs

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Kanye operatives

GOP operatives want Kanye West on the ballot. Will it matter? – Los Angeles Times

When a Democrat or Republican runs for president, there’s usually a stable of low-profile legal experts affiliated with the party who can help navigate the country’s thicket of ballot-access laws.

But if you were, say, music megastar Kanye West mounting a not-exactly-viable presidential bid under the banner of the not-exactly-serious “Birthday Party,” such a network of partisan legal experts might not be easily available.

Not so. Over the last couple of weeks, Republican-affiliated lawyers and strategists have been helping West file the paperwork necessary in several key states, in a small-scale effort apparently mounted in hopes of drawing Black voters away from Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, to boost President Trump’s reelection chances.

In the critical swing state of Wisconsin, local media reported that West’s qualifying paperwork was dropped off by Lane Ruhland, an attorney representing the Trump campaign in a lawsuit who had also done legal work for the Republican National Committee, former GOP Gov. Scott Walker and the state Republican Party on election matters.

In nearby Ohio, the paperwork was dropped off by an attorney from the Columbus law firm Isaac Wiles, which has reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars in fees from state Republican campaign committees since 2015.

West’s efforts in Colorado have gotten a boost from state GOP operative Rachel George, who emailed another Republican strategist asking, “Would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado? No, I am not joking, and I realize this is hilarious,” according to a message obtained by Vice News.

George and the strategist did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Trump’s campaign. A spokesman for Biden declined to comment.

Having already missed too many state filing deadlines to remain even a mathematically plausible contender, West has hinted about his hopes to bleed votes from Biden. He told Forbes, “I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”

To longtime political observers, there’s no mistaking what’s driving the institutional GOP support for West, who has been one of Trump’s most visible celebrity supporters through the Republican’s first term. West has visited Trump at Trump Tower and the White House, and the president has publicly thanked and complimented West in return.

“One of the oldest tricks in the political playbook is to run a third-party candidate to try and bleed support from your opponent,” said Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who is not affiliated with the Biden campaign. “What’s different here is the third-party candidate is a hip-hop artist who has said nice things about the current president before.”

Organizing something similar in the old days would have been done in “the smoke-filled backrooms; they’d be sitting there on a bar or something,” said Manley, who called West’s candidacy “a farce, a joke.”

“I don’t believe African Americans are going to vote for Kanye simply because he’s on the ballot,” Manley said. “There’s simply too much at stake.”

So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that West might have even a marginal impact. One July poll of 2,000 registered voters by Redfield & Wilton Strategies only found 2% of support for West, and most respondents said they didn’t think West’s run was serious.

“West has been a supporter, in small ways at least, of Trump; I think most voters know that,” said Matt Hindman, an associate professor of political science at the University of Tulsa who has published research on third-party candidates and ballot-access laws. “We’re talking about a very small percentage of people who might vote for Kanye West,” and it’s not even a given that those voters might otherwise vote for Biden.

West’s very public mental health issues have also raised questions about his candidacy. After West held one erratic campaign event in South Carolina in July, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, said her husband has bipolar disorder and asked for compassion and empathy.

“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor,” Kardashian West wrote in a post on Instagram. “People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”

At his sometimes tearful South Carolina rally, West said his antiabortion plan was to pay parents $1 million for having a baby, and he said that abolitionist Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves; she just had the slaves go work for other white people.”

Nathan Gonzales, the editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan guide to elections, thinks that in a tight race “it’s possible” that West could tip the balance from one candidate to another.

“But we’re still a long way from knowing whether Kanye will have any impact,” Gonzales said, pointing out that questions remain about which state ballots West will qualify for.

It’s not clear if West’s Wisconsin petition was dropped off in time; he fell short of the signatures needed to qualify in Illinois; he’s missed the deadlines in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada, where a third-party candidate has the greatest ability to tip the balance. ABC News reported that West’s team couldn’t accumulate enough signatures to get on the ballot in California, the nation’s richest electoral prize, where he is unlikely to make any perceptible threat to Biden anyway.

“We don’t know how close the most important states will be. We don’t know if he will be on the ballot. And we certainly don’t know how many votes he would receive,” Gonzales said. “For people to say, ‘Oh, Kanye is Black so he’ll take Black voters from Biden’ is a gross oversimplification of a more complex situation.”

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Kanye urged

Elon Musk Says He Urged Kanye West to Delay His Presidential Bid to 2024 – Billboard

Elon Musk

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020.

Elon Musk has some advice regarding Kanye West‘s 2020 presidential bid: Wait four more years.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times published Saturday (July 25), the Tesla and SpaceX founder gave his thoughts on West’s plans to run for president and touched on the rapper and fashion mogul’s recent Twitter rants.

After West tweeted on July 4 that he was running for president, Musk quickly responded, “You have my full support!” Musk believes, however, that 2024 might be a better time for the rapper’s ambitious political run.

“I’ve done my best to convince him that 2024 would be better than 2020,” Musk told The Times, explaining that he wouldn’t want West to be accused of splitting the Black vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

During the interview, Musk, who said he’s known West for “at least 10 years,” also noted that he checked up on the rapper following his recent “tweet rampage,” during which Ye accused his wife, Kim Kardashian, of sending a doctor to Wyoming to “lock me up” and claimed that the 2017 horror movie Get Out was about him, among other seemingly unconnected topics.

“When he was about a third of the way through the tweet rampage, just to see if he was doing OK, I sent him a text saying, you know, just checking on you, a lot of people are worried, just wondering if you’re OK,” Musk said. “And he called me back and he actually seemed fine. He video FaceTimed me and he was in Wyoming with a bunch of friends. He seemed fine on the call. But it sounds like things are, you know, not fine. There seem to be a lot of issues.”

Kardashian later came to the defense of her husband, sharing a statement addressing his struggle with bi-polar disorder.

“He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder,” Kardashian wrote. “Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”

During his first campaign rally in South Carolina on July 19, West spoke about a number of topics — including the healthcare system, supporting the LGBTQ+ community and gun control — before breaking down in tears during a candid discussion about abortion.

On Saturday, West apologized to Kardashian on Twitter for speaking about their personal life on the public stage.

“I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me,” West wrote.