The candidate polling at 9 percent in North Carolina against Trump and Clinton isn’t a real person. But Brady Olson, who gamed the FEC filing system, certainly is.
Deez Nuts, the Independent candidate from Iowa, is polling at 9 percent in North Carolina for President of the United States.
Sadly, Deez Nuts does not appear to exist. But Brady Olson does.
“When I heard about the Limberbutt McCubbins story, I realized I could,” Olson tells The Daily Beast.
Brady Olson is 15 years old. He filed to run for the President of the United States with the FEC on July 26 as Deez Nuts.
According to a Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday, almost one in 10 Tar Heel State voters would vote for him in a race between Nuts, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.
(Limberbutt McCubbins, by the way, is a cat from Kentucky seeking the Democratic nomination for president.)
Dozens of real Deez Nutses or Deez Nutzes do live as citizens in the United States of America with legally changed names, from Phoenix, Arizona, to West Hartford, Connecticut, from sea to shining sea, but a potential president does not appear to be one of them.
According to a Federal Election Commission filing, the Deez Nuts running for president lives at 2248 450th Avenue in Wallingford, Iowa. The problem, however, is that there is no Deez Nuts who lives in Wallingford, Iowa—a tiny town of 197 people—according to the Emmet County recorder’s office.
“Seriously?” Emmet County recorder’s assistant Jill White asked when The Daily Beast mentioned there was a federally registered presidential candidate by the name of “Deez Nuts”—and that a reporter was requesting information on a resident by that name.
There’s only Brady Olson, the son of a farmer and a dental assistant, and a rising sophomore at the Graettinger Terril Ruthven Ayrshire Community School in rural Iowa.
Now he’s trying to figure out his path to becoming the first 15-year-old President of the United States under an assumed name.
“The next step is to get some party nominations, like the Minnesota Independence Party or the Modern Whig Party,” Olson says. “It would also be great to find a VP, preferably McCubbins because the Nuts/McCubbins ticket sounds amazing.”
So how did Brady Olson go from standard Iowa high school student to the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter—literally overnight?
“The polls are pretty long. By the time we drop Deez Nuts on them, they’re pretty deep into the poll.”
“It started because somebody emailed us under the name Deez Nuts,” says Jim Williams, an issue polling specialist a Public Policy Polling. “He said, ‘I’m Deez Nuts. I’m running. Here’s my filing statement. Would you poll me?’”
Williams thought “this is something Public Policy Polling would do,” so he squared Nuts off against Trump and Clinton in Minnesota a few weeks ago. He polled at 7 percent.
“I thought, ‘Let’s put this out. This’ll be funny,’” he says, and it was met with “mild interest.”
But when his numbers rose after two more polls—8 percent in Iowa, then 9 percent in North Carolina—Nuts took off. On Wednesday, Deez Nuts was trending worldwide on Twitter.
“Today, we’ve clearly reached the tipping point,” says Williams.
There is no 9-1-1 listing corresponding to that 2248 450th Street, according to officials at the Emmet County Registry of Deeds. Next door—at 2250 450th Street in Wallingford—sits Olson Land & Livestock, which is owned by Brady’s dad, Mark Olson.
“Anybody can fill out a Form 2,” says FEC Deputy Press Officer Christian Hilland. “We do vetting, but it’s more about did they fill out the information correctly? Did they review the fields? It doesn’t speak to the authenticity of the individual who filed the claim.”
“Nuts” did, in fact, fill out a Form 2—a statement of candidacy—on July 26. The form had no information other than the Wallingford address and his Independent party affiliation.
Fellow Form 2 filers for the 2016 election cycle include Sydneys Vuluptuous Buttocks, Kenny Rodeo, Eden, and Ole’ Savior. Savior, a Republican, ran and lost in four other elections since 2006.
Savior and Nuts join President Emperor Caesar, Buddy the Cat, Buddy the Elf, Jack Sparrow, James “Titus the Great” Law, Princess Oawlawolwaol, and Donald Trump in the 2016 race for the presidency.
You can fill out your own Form 2 here and—good news—none of the fields are immediately checked against public records searches.
You, too, can be Deez Nuts from Wallingford, Iowa. The problems will only start to appear when your grassroots campaign for the presidency starts to receive the support of almost one-tenth of the residents of North Carolina.
“We check for things like, ‘What election cycle are you running in?’ If one or more of those fields are missing, we have campaign finance analysts who review those reports,” says Hilland. “We send a letter to the listed address that asks for clarification or an amendment.”
Also, if he or she raises $5,000, whoever lives at 2248 450th Avenue is going to have to come up with a real name. Nuts will then have to file a Form 1, which requires a name, phone number and address that check out.
And, again, the name doesn’t check out.
“The name isn’t familiar to me. Do you really think that’s a legitimate name?” Brenda Moore of the Emmet County treasurer’s office asked The Daily Beast.
The county of just over 10,000 had no idea an alleged Independent front-runner from their neighborhood was earning national headlines.
“I haven’t heard a word—not a word about it,” says Amy Sathoff of the Emmet County auditor’s office.
She chuckled when The Daily Beast asked her to search “Deez Nuts” in her records.
“It seems kind of odd,” Sathoff says, but confirmed that “no person with that last name owns property in Emmet County.”
Since he began polling near double digits, Olson even began offering concrete policy positions on his Facebook page.
“He’s now come out for a balanced budget. He’s come out in favor of the Iran Deal,” says Williams. “Deez Nuts is starting to get serious.”
Joking aside, Williams says Nuts’s high polling numbers shows that “clearly, there’s some kind of floor here for third-party entities that’s rising.”
“I think having Trump as part of the poll helps push that number up because it leaves room for the non-hardcore Republicans who are not going to get on board with Donald Trump,” says Williams.
Plus, there’s a logistical reason Nuts is polling so well.
“The polls are pretty long. By the time we drop Deez Nuts on them, they’re pretty deep into the poll,” Williams says, then pauses.
“The jokes write themselves.”
But now, Olson is emboldened by his rising poll numbers. Despite the hurdles—the president has to be at least 35 to take office, after all—he plans on winning the whole thing.
“The U.S. would have to pass an amendment to take out Article 2,” says Olson. “But Congress wouldn’t do that—after being so embarrassed after losing to Deez Nuts.”
Gabriel Noble contributed to this report.
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