The Cable

Deez Nuts — In It to Win It

An independent presidential candidate running under the name “Deez Nuts” is racking up big numbers against well-known Republican contenders.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29:  Rapper Dr. Dre performs during the Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Miguel and SchoolBoyQ  concert during the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Rapper Dr. Dre performs during the Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Miguel and SchoolBoyQ concert during the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET)

An independent presidential candidate running under the name “Deez Nuts” is racking up big numbers against well-known Republican contenders. Polling results released Wednesday scored Deez Nuts — who is based in Iowa, according to his Federal Election Commission registration — at 9 percent in North Carolina, 8 percent in Minnesota, and 7 percent in Iowa. That’s ahead of former AT&T executive Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, according to the survey by North Carolina-based firm Public Policy Polling.

Deez Nuts — identified by the FEC as Nuts, Deez — filed a statement of candidacy on July 26 and has not yet reported any campaign contributions.
Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 6.10.59 PM Campaign officials for Fiorina, Huckabee, Walker, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump did not respond immediately to requests Wednesday to discuss Deez Nuts. Repeated calls to telephone numbers associated with the Iowa address listed on Deez Nuts’s statement of candidacy yielded a similar lack of results.

Dubious veracity of the listed contact information aside, the candidate seems somewhat serious (assuming he’s over the 35-year-old minimum and not, say, a sixth grader): “Deez Nuts emailed me about a month ago, and he was like, ‘Include us in the polling,’” Jim Williams, a polling analyst for Public Policy Polling, told Foreign Policy. “We’re putting Deez Nuts in with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”

FP was unable to independently verify that Deez Nuts is a man, or even exists.

Williams maintained that the success of Deez Nuts should not be taken to indicate the unmitigated uselessness of any sort of polling five months ahead of the Iowa caucuses. “I think it’s constructive,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s an indictment of polling so much as it’s an indictment of the major political parties.”

“Deez nuts” — the phrase, not the candidate — entered the pop culture lexicon thanks to hip-hop tycoon Dr. Dre’s 1992 album, The Chronic, which interrogated perspectives on the role of women in society that Donald Trump has continued to explore today.

As a member of N.W.A, the West Coast hip-hop crew eulogized in summer blockbuster Straight Outta Compton, Dre rapped about tearing down systems of oppression and responding to police brutality in kind. Republicans have tried to appropriate memes associated with the group.

So despite the Iowa address, and whether or not it was his intent, Deez Nuts has West Coast roots. And he is not the only hip-hop cultural product in the running. Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame announced his candidacy in April and has since taken on issues ranging from a free Kurdistan to marijuana legalization at the federal level.

Photo credit: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET

Benjamin Soloway is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @bsoloway

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola