In 2020, West's Presidential campaign collected over $2 million from contributions and over $12 million from his own bank account. Nonetheless, he earned only 66,000 votes from 12 states.
When it came down to running for president, Kanye West spent a huge chunk of money on the campaign. Last year, Kanye West launched an official bid for President of the United States, promising to uphold his Christian beliefs and reform the criminal justice system.
As per the financial report from the Federal Election Commission, the campaign of the former Donald Trump supporter was primarily self-funded. In total, the rapper earned over $2 million in donations, with approx $12.5 million coming out of his own pocket. Interestingly, West was ranked no.2 on the Forbes list of highest-paid celebrities of 2020 (just behind his sister-in-law Kylie Jenner).
West's campaign spent more than $7.5 million on fees related to "ballot access," including $1.28 million in payments to Atlas Strategy Group. Gregg Keller, a Republican strategist who reportedly was considered to lead Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, owns Atlas and said he was a senior strategist with West's campaign.
Experts say the focus on the ballot makes sense, given West's third-party push and lack of political infrastructure only months before the election.
"That's not unusual for [independent] campaigns, particularly with people who haven't run for office before," says Dr. Eric Heberlig, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who focuses on campaign finance.
Comparatively, supporters donated over a billion dollars to now-President Biden’s campaign, while Trump’s team racked in more than $811 million.
West, 43, joined on July 4 last year as a member of the Birthday Party. More than half of his campaign's expenses were due to his efforts to gain ballot access in as many states as possible. Yet he could barely join the ballot in 12 states prolly due to his late induction into the race. Moreover, the Yeezy founder faced significant challenges - missing crucial FEC deadlines and failing to meet the signature requirements in multiple states.
Yet on Election Day, he did earn over 66,000 votes.
West's campaign notably did not spend on television, radio, or digital advertising, according to the filings. However, if he had spent on advertisements, he could've actually made a difference in a few states.
The rapper and designer paid a $35,000 fee to get his name on the ballot in Oklahoma where he (later) received less than 6,000 votes.
His campaign's other top-spending centered on legal fees, production for online videos he used to promote his campaign, and "Kanye 2020" apparel — which in some cases listed buyers as campaign contributors.
West's filings show he pumped more than $2.7 million of his own money into the campaign even during the final four weeks of the race. For example, public records show he spent $210,544 on a two-page ad in The New York Times one week ahead of the election and spent $918,130 on campaign apparel on Election Day.
He went on to hold only one campaign rally, in South Caroline. But he sometimes went weeks without publicly mentioning the race and his advertising and apparel were unusual by campaign standards. He released a promo showing photos of Kirsten Dunst, Anna Wintour, and others — but hadn't gotten their permission.
"It wasn't your traditional campaign," says the political source, who aided West's efforts last summer.
"He isn't versed enough politically," the former operative tells PEOPLE. "He figured that by doing it on his own, he could control his own media. But he has so much other stuff going on in his life that has nothing to do with politics that the distractions are there."
Indeed, at the same time that West was embarking on his quixotic campaign, his personal life was deteriorating.
Before the couple’s split was confirmed, sources told Page Six that West’s presidential bid was the “final straw” for Kardashian.
After his election loss, he tweeted: "WELP KANYE 2024."
Article Source: People.com