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Kanye West Won’t Be on Missouri Ballot: Convention Update

Rapper Kanye West, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. West, a recording artist and prominent Trump supporter, is at the White House to have lunch with the president and to meet with presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner who has spearheaded the administrations efforts overhaul the criminal justice system. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rapper Kanye West failed to make another state’s ballot. President Donald Trump’s campaign has booked few ads during the Republican National Convention. And speakers at the convention borrowed Trump’s signature line on the economy.

By Ryan Teague Beckwith

Word Count: 966
(Bloomberg) — 

There are 70 days until the election.

Other Developments:

Kanye West Fails to Make Missouri Ballot

Missouri voters will not see Kanye West’s name on their ballots for president this year.

The Missouri secretary of state’s office said it notified the rapper on Tuesday that he had submitted only 6,557 of the 10,000 valid signatures required to appear as an independent candidate for president on the state’s Nov. 3 ballot, meaning he doesn’t qualify.

The determination comes a day after West’s campaign missed a deadline to file signatures to appear on the ballot in Wyoming. Final decisions about his ballot eligibility are still outstanding in at least Iowa, Minnesota and Tennessee, according to election offices in those states.

West, who announced his quixotic independent candidacy in July, has been approved to appear on the ballot in at least Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont. He has been rejected for various reasons in multiple other states. — Mark Niquette

Convention Week Relatively Quiet on Ad Front for Trump (1:47 p.m.)

While Trump is enjoying the free air time that comes with convention week, his campaign appears to be taking a break from paying for media.

From Tuesday through Labor Day, Trump’s campaign has booked just $243,773 of ads, almost all of them on Washington, D.C. cable stations, according to Advertising Analytics. Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has booked $22.9 million of broadcast, cable and radio time in battleground states over the same period.

Trump can still book time for the coming days, and has recently made big national cable buys when the advertising week, which runs Tuesdays through Mondays, is already in progress. The campaign’s $1.8 million buy for last week was made on Friday, four days into the week, and after the Democratic National Convention concluded.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said it “makes little sense to blow donor money on ads during convention weeks, when all of the national media is focused on the candidates anyway.”

That upcoming hiatus comes before a deluge. After Labor Day, the traditional start of the sprint to the general election, Trump has $147.9 million of ad time reserved, while Biden, whose campaign has said it will spent $280 million on media in the fall, has $115.9 million reserved so far.

Biden has spent $66.5 million on paid media in August, almost three times as much as the $22.7 million for Trump. Despite the lower outlays, Trump put more money, some $5.4 million, into digital ads than Biden, who spent $3.1 million. — Bill Allison

Convention Speakers Echo Trump’s Favorite Line on the Economy (1 p.m.)

Speakers on the first night of the Republican National Convention borrowed one of Trump’s favorite lines: that he built the greatest economy ever.

Representative Matt Gaetz credited Trump for “the strongest economy our country has ever seen.” Donald Trump Jr. similarly said his father “built the greatest economy our country has ever seen.” And his partner, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, went even further, calling it “the greatest economy the world has ever known.”

Starting in 2018, Trump has argued that he was responsible for the greatest economy in the history of the country. But although it was strong, it did not surpass previous highs in employment, gross domestic product or productivity.

The economy has since taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, which one speaker — St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey — acknowledged when he spoke of it in the past tense, saying Trump “brought us the greatest economy our country had ever seen.”

Trump Has Widened His 2016 Base, Campaign Aide Says (11:33 a.m.)

The decision to highlight race and diversity on the first night of the Republican National Convention was intended to show that President Donald Trump has expanded his base in the last four years, campaign manager Bill Stepien said Tuesday.

“I was the face of President Trump’s election in 2016. I’m a white guy who owns a pick up truck. I like college football and I drink beer,” Stepien told Politico in an interview Tuesday. “This time around, this week, last night, tonight and the remaining days of the convention you’re going to see the expanded base of support for the president.”

Throughout his presidency, Trump has often stoked racist tensions with controversial statements and has been criticized for his handling of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

But on Monday, the party convention leaned into racial issues, including an emotional speech from a Cuban immigrant about fleeing communism and a speech by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the chamber, who said the next American century would be better than the last. Trump received support from 8% of Black voters in 2016.

“The president has grown this party, the president has grown his coalition over the years and he’s proud to highlight these great American stories,” Stepien said. — Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

Coming Up:

The second night of the Republican National Convention will feature speeches by first lady Melania Trump and Trump’s son Eric Trump and daughter Tiffany Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will speak from Jerusalem. Nicholas Sandmann, who sued media outlets that inaccurately portrayed him seeming to confront a Native American protester, will also speak.

(Updates second item with Trump campaign comment)

–With assistance from Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou, Bill Allison and Mark Niquette.

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