Deez Nuts for President? Why Not, Says Iowa Farm Boy
The presidential candidate Deez Nuts was surging on Wednesday in a poll, albeit unscientific, in North Carolina.
Deez Nuts was also the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.
For anyone who has fallen 24 hours behind the campaign news cycle, Deez Nuts is a registered independent, a supporter of a balanced budget and the Iran nuclear deal — and a 15-year-old farm boy from Iowa.
In registering with the Federal Election Commission last month, Deez Nuts listed an address in rural Wallingford, Iowa, that is the home of Mark and Teresa Olson. Mr. Olson, who farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans, said in an interview that Deez Nuts was his son Brady, who begins his sophomore year in high school next week.
Like any surging candidate, Deez Nuts has been besieged with requests from the national news media since becoming an Internet meme, but has said he would be interviewed only by email. “School’s starting back up and I still have to sort this out,’’ he wrote to this reporter.
Asked why Deez Nuts entered the presidential race, Brady replied, “To clear the way for a future third-party movement.’’
A website with Deez Nuts’s platform suggests a Libertarian tinge, including giving voting rights to citizens of American Samoa, but deporting illegal immigrants with “the lone exception of being a minor.’’
After Brady registered his presidential candidacy, his father at first did not think much about it. “A 15-year-old tells you that, what are you supposed to think?” Mr. Olson said. But then the news media began filling up his voice mail. “I’m like,’ Brady, what’s going on here?’’’
Supporters who picked up the Deez Nuts meme tweeted to Public Policy Polling, a nonscientific polling operation, asking it to add him to its surveys, and it did. In head-to-head matchups with Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Deez Nuts drew 8 percent in Minnesota and 7 percent in Iowa.
Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling, said he added Deez Nuts to statewide survey three weeks ago because “the name makes people laugh, and it’s a long presidential election.’’
But Mr. Jensen also drew a serious conclusion from the Deez Nuts surge.
“I would say Mr. Nuts is the most ludicrous and unqualified third-party candidate you could have, but he’s still polling at 7, 8, 9 percent,’’ Mr. Jensen said. “Right now the voters don’t like either of the people leading in the two main parties, and that creates an appetite for a third-party candidate.’’
After the North Carolina results, which were picked up by television news broadcast, Mr. Jensen thought the joke had run its course. But now that Deez Nuts is receiving a wave of publicity, the pollster is curious to see if the Deez Nuts candidacy can be lifted higher. Mr. Jensen plans to include the independent in polls in New Hampshire this weekend and in a national survey next week.