Election Pollster Terrance Woodbury Weighs In On Kanye West’s 2020 President Election Bid in July 19 Washington Post News Article

Woodbury Says West Probably Won’t Be the Next President, but the Influential Rapper Could Play a Role in Determining Who Is

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Terrance Woodbury, a partner at HIT Strategies, a political research firm focused on women, minorities and millennials, recently shared his thoughts with the Washington Post regarding rapper Kanye West’s 2020 Presidential Campaign. Woodbury addressed several issues surrounding the provocative celebrity’s viability as a candidate and the influence the Grammy-winning artist has over a generation of young voters.

According to the July 19 Washington Post article, “We Still Can’t Ignore Kanye West,” written by reporter Helena Andrews-Dyer, Woodbury opined that West could shake up the election season by serving as a lightning rod bringing generational issues to the forefront:

Around this time four years ago, when a bombastic reality TV star was blowing up preconceived notions about politics as usual, pollster Terrance Woodbury had what can only be described as a premonition.

Who else could upend American politics like Donald Trump had, Woodbury wondered? Who could be so brazen, unexpected, reckless and effective? Who could capture votes, mainstream media attention and social media hits? Only one name came to mind.
“I was convinced that person was Kanye West,” Woodbury said.

His colleagues cackled then. Now they’re taking a closer look at the very real impact West could have on the 2020 presidential election.

But like so many citizens of Presidential Election Town — journalists, commentators, strategists, data analysts, etc. — when it comes to West, Woodbury is of two distinct minds.

“I do not want to take Kanye West seriously,” said Woodbury, a partner at HIT Strategies, a political research firm focused on women, minorities and millennials. “But I know that we have to.”

And that’s the core of the conundrum called Kanye in 2020.

Woodbury said West has been using his celebrity stature and artistry to speak for marginalized groups whose political voices are often unheard. The article stated:

His recent video “Wash Us in the Blood” is an exhibition of both black celebration and black pain. There is police brutality, pulpit praise and gangsters walking through prison halls. Next to those images West’s pixelated face appears on screen rapping about fake news, the holy spirit and how misunderstood he is.

Pollster Woodbury said the video is a visual manifestation of what he has been hearing in political focus groups recently.

According to Woodbury’s research, 60 percent of black men younger than 50 think Democrats take black voters for granted. Woodbury asked those voters why they would choose a third-party candidate. The answer? To send a message to both parties.
“That’s Kanye’s entire political message — that no one is delivering for black people,” Woodbury said.

At a recent focus group with young voters, Woodbury heard a black man in Milwaukee express a sentiment that the pollster could have sworn was also a West quote.
“He said, ‘My mama voted for Democrats, my grandmother voted for Democrats, my granddaddy voted for Democrats . . . and my ’hood has been the same for 50 years. So why the hell would I keep voting for Democrats?’”

“I have to wonder if Kanye is repeating what young people are saying or if they are repeating what he is saying. I think he’s going to inspire some very cynical voters frustrated with Democrats and Republicans,” said Woodbury, who added that there are “young people in this country that trust Kanye West more than they trust politicians.”

According to the article, Woodbury added that West could sway votes in battleground states:

West doesn’t need millions to write in his name, more like thousands, according to Woodbury. Eleven thousand votes in Michigan could change the color of that state in November. Six thousand people flocked to West’s Sunday Service concert in Detroit in September with less than a day’s notice.

To read the entire article, visit: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kanye-west-presidential-campaign/2020/07/18/7e043434-c905-11ea-8ffe-372be8d82298_story.html

About Terrance Woodbury:
Terrance Woodbury’s research focuses on people of color and millennials who have become the driving force of rapidly evolving consumer and electoral trends in both the United States and abroad. He has spent the last two cycles as Research Director at Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies where he conducted polling and focus groups for candidates in local, state, national, and international elections and for innovative companies such as Uber and Google.

Before spending four years at Brilliant Corners, Woodbury worked at the Brookings Institution, where he focused on the impacts of economic and demographic trends that are shaping the fastest growing urban communities around the world.

Woodbury’s life before research was still consumed by politics where he worked in various capacities on campaigns at the local, state, national, and international level. He has worked every position on a campaign except the candidate, and he has no intention of ever baring that burden. 


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Terrance Woodbury Photo