Though many were laughing at Kanye West after his wild campaign rally in South Carolina on July 19, this is no joke for Ye. Though it appeared like Ye’s July 4 presidential candidacy declaration was another publicity stunt done to build up a buzz for a new album, a source close to the Kanye camp tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that Kanye is “extremely serious about the campaign. Kanye has been working day and night on getting things to spend the rest of the summer campaigning. You can see how tired he is from working so much.”
“He’s spent a ton of money out of pocket on this,” the source tells HollywoodLife, noting that Kanye filed the necessary paperwork and paid the $35,000 filing fee to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot. The price tag of this campaign has become an issue between Ye and wife Kim Kardashian, 39, as the source tells us they’ve “been disagreeing about how it’s costing him a ton of money” to run for president, but Kim “sees how serious and important this is for him.”
“The entire family does, and they’re doing their best to offer support,” the insider adds. Kanye has “made it clear to Kim he will do whatever it takes to get on the ticket.” That means late nights and long work weeks. Kanye and his team are “working around the clock” to try to get him on as many ballots as possible, and Kanye himself is “putting in a lot of hours to make sure this is perfect. He’s very hands-on, and he’s pulling out all of the stops to try to make this happen.”
It may not matter just how “serious” Kanye is about running for president in 2020. By waiting so late to launch his campaign, Ye may have sabotaged his own political career before it even began. “The idea of trying to launch something in July of an election year is beyond absurd,” Neil Sroka, Communications Director of Democracy For America, a political action group that helps elect people of color and white progressives into office, told HollywoodLife. Since Kanye is running as an independent campaign (he’s running as part of the Birthday Party), he would need to petition each state individually to have his name printed on ballots this November.
Kanye has already missed the deadlines in 10 states, and more are fast approaching. He needs to submit 10,000 signatures by Monday (July 20) to get on the ballot in South Carolina, the state where he held his first rally – and where he said he almost aborted North West and that Harriet Tubman didn’t free any slaves. On top of that, nine states don’t allow write-ins on the ballots, meaning that Kanye can’t really mount a successful “write-in” campaign. “Even in the best of circumstances, it would be impossible, and these are not the best of circumstances,” added Neil.