Question: Is it still theoretically possible for Kanye West to become the US president in 2021?
While I don't see it happen realistically, I think it's possible in theory. To become US president a person needs to meet requirements set out in article II, section 1, clause 5 of the US constitution. Those are:
- be a natural-born U.S. citizen of the United States;
- be at least 35 years old;
- be a resident in the United States for at least 14 years.
The second and more difficult part to becoming the US president is the election. Specifically, the president of the United States is elected by the United States Electoral College. According to Wikipedia:
The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States.
Of course, the electors making up the electoral college are normally determined by the states, through presidential elections in that state. For example, in answer to my question whether a state legislature had ever disregarded the popular vote in their state completely and determined to send a different batch of electors, David Hammen answered (footnotes omitted):
The modern practice, which has been adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is to delegate the selection of electors to the various political parties
Except for Maine and Nebraska, the party that wins the plurality of the votes in a state wins all of that state's electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska assign statewide electors and district-specific electors, selected by the party that won the state or the district.
But that's not what you asked. You asked if it's theoretically possible to have President Kanye West lead the United States in 2021. Since he meets the criteria from clause 5, he could be elected by the electoral college to become the next president.
The major hurdle that makes this theoretically possible, but not practically possible, is the composition of the electoral college. Modern history would tell us that he would need to win a plurality of votes in enough states' presidential elections to get enough electors to vote for him. While that may not be possible because he isn't on the ballot in enough states, the actual appointment remains a competency of the states. Indeed, per article II, section 1, clause 2:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
That said, I think that if enough state legislatures decided that they should appoint electors to vote for Kanye West, then there could be a Kanye West presidency in 2021 regardless of the outcome of the presidential election on November 3rd. That's something enough state legislature could do in theory, but it is at the same time unthinkable that even one state would do so.