Kanye West’s Presidential Bid Relies On Trump Republicans’ Efforts

Kanye West’s presidential bid continues to get boosts from Republicans with connections to Donald Trump and his campaign. West missed the deadline to be on the ballot in several states, and getting on the remaining states’ ballots is a hurdle. Still, the president has boasted that it “won’t be hard” for West to pull some never-Trump votes away from Joe Biden in the general election — particularly in a few battleground states where the vote could have a disproportionate effect on the outcome of the election.

Kanye West spoiler for Donald Trump
[Photo by Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images]

Former Trump advisor Roger Stone, who was convicted of crimes uncovered in Robert Mueller’s investigation into interference in the last presidential election, whose sentence Trump commuted last month, has vowed to help Trump’s re-election. He denied, according to the New York Post, any knowledge of a ‘spoiler’ scheme to use West to split the never-Trump vote, but also said that it’s too late for an effective strategy for an independent candidate. Aside from the missed deadline for about half of the states, Stone said getting on the ballot in the rest would be “expensive and difficult.”

Other Trump supporters seem less sure. One of Trump’s delegates for the RNC is also an elector for West in the general election — and quickly hung up when a reporter asked about the potential for conflict. The attorney who delivered Kanye’s paperwork to Wisconsin election officials is Lane Ruhland, who has worked for the Trump campaign in the past.

Meanwhile, Trump himself has promoted this as a strategy, saying that for West’s campaign to be used to draw away votes from Biden “shouldn’t be hard.” Kanye isn’t saying a lot publicly, but has offered a few cryptic tweets, talking about beating Biden and about a ‘tactic’ that includes distraction and discrediting.

However, scrutiny of West’s filings could serve as his own downfall — he failed to meet the requirements to be included on the ballot in Illinois, where more than half his signatures were found to be invalid.

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