Kanye West Spent $13.2 Million on Failed Presidential Bid

The ‘Gold Digger’ rapper contributed nearly $12.5 million from his own pocket toward the unsuccessful campaign, while raising approximately $2 million from outside donors.

AceShowbizKanye West didn’t only lose his pride, but also his money when he failed in his attempt to become the U.S. president. The rapper spent $13.2 million in his unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, a review of campaign finance filings show.

As the campaign was largely self-funded, Ye’s final Federal Election Commission report confirms that the 43-year-old star contributed nearly $12.5 million of his own money toward the failed campaign. The “Follow God” spitter additionally collected approximately $2 million from outside donors, bringing his total campaign contributions to $14,538,989.74.

Kanye, who launched his presidential campaign on July 4, 2020, ended up earning 66,000 votes nationally after failing to secure his ballots in several states. By the end of the presidential election, he was left with about $1.3 million in the bank, meaning he spent approximately $200 for every vote.

The filings also show where the campaign money went, with more than $7.5 million used 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 previously confirmed he was a senior strategist with Kanye’s campaign.

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Kanye’s team’s decision to focus on the ballots wasn’t entirely wrong. Dr. Eric Heberlig, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, who focuses on campaign finance, weighs in, “That’s not unusual for [independent] campaigns, particularly with people who haven’t run for office before.”

His campaign also spent a lot of money on legal fees, production for online videos he used to promote his campaign and “Kanye 2020” apparel. His campaign, however, seemed to forgo television, radio or digital advertising.

“For most campaigns, their largest set of expenses are advertising,” Dr. Eric says. A former campaign operative for Kanye also tells PEOPLE, “I didn’t see any Kanye ads, did you?”, believing that “if [Kanye] had pushed and done a $10 million buy digitally, they could’ve actually made a difference in a few states.”

While Kanye was more willing in accepting his defeat to Joe Biden than Donald Trump, the GOOD Music founder hinted at his plans to run for president again in 2024. “Kanye 2024,” he tweeted in November after it became apparent that he lost the election.

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