Talk about an August of outsiders. Internet meme and presidential candidate Deez Nuts has pulled off a surprising feat in a North Carolina poll, raking in 9 percent of the vote in a theoretical 2016 general election matchup against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and real estate mogul Donald Trump (spoiler: Nuts still loses).
Nuts is running as an independent, and has actually filed necessary paperwork to be considered a candidate by the Federal Election Commission. But, who exactly is Deez Nuts and is this the start of a surge like that of Trump, who shot to the top of polls in the Republican primary field and has dominated the scene?
First things first: Nuts, while said to be the real, legal name of a person living in small-town Iowa, is actually just an Internet meme that dates back to Dr. Dre's 1992 album "The Chronic," according to the Week magazine. That record has a song titled "Deeez Nuuuts" and features Snoop Dogg telling a joke with a punch line that matches the name of the song. It later became an Internet meme.
When International Business Times attempted to contact the address listed on the presidential filing, Deez Nuts was not a name associated with that particular house. A voicemail message left at the house was not returned.
Presidential campaigns rely heavily on coalitions of voters to bring them to the White House, and Nuts seems to be catching on with some odd collection of demographics in North Carolina. Young voters, men and African-Americans post the highest favorability numbers for Nuts, according to the Public Policy Poll, which helpfully and exhaustively included Nuts in several categories of questions. Nuts has some distance to travel, however, as over 80 percent of voters don't seem to know who he is.
Other articles report that Nuts is beating several Republican hopefuls in North Carolina, including a tie with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. However, that isn't the case. Because Nuts is running as an independent, he isn't matched against those candidates in potential primaries.
Nuts also has polled well in Minnesota (8 percent) and Iowa (7 percent) in addition to his North Carolina showing. It's too early to know how well Nuts is doing with fund-raising for his 2016 run, as he filed his statement of candidacy with the FEC after the most recent fund-raising disclosure deadline. He does not appear to have any super PACs associated with the campaign.