Before this week, Deez Nuts was nothing more than an Internet meme. Now Deez Nuts has turned into a different kind of sensation: a top-polling independent presidential candidate against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In a Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina released yesterday, 40% of voters would pull for Trump, 38% for Clinton, and a rather impressive 9% for the until-now-unknown Nuts. (Though to be fair, 81% of the respondents said they had neither a favorable nor unfavorable opinion of the new candidate.) So who's the mystery contender? "My name is not Deez Nuts," reads an email sent by the candidate to the Guardian. "I am a 15-year-old who filled out a form, had the campaign catch on fire, and am now putting up the best third-party numbers since Ross Perot." That 15-year-old appears to be Brady Olson, an Iowa teen who filed to enter with the FEC after hearing about Limberbutt McCubbins, a cat seeking the Democratic nomination, the Daily Beast reports.
Not that Brady's platform is a total joke: In addition to the Deez Nuts for President 2016 website, he's got a Facebook page and is serious about such issues as congressional salaries and reducing oil company subsidies. He's no Fox News die-hard, either, based on a recent tweet: "How come Fox news challenged Obama's birth certificate but not Ted Cruz. Maybe it's because they just hate Democrats or they are just dumb." Deez Nuts also polled well in Minnesota (8%) and in his home state (7%), reports Rolling Stone, which conducted an email interview with him. "The fact that if I can fill out a form so vague that it doesn't include your age, or the fact that all get accepted even if they're only partially filled, anyone can run," he said, telling the magazine he'd support Democrat Bernie Sanders or Libertarian Gary Johnson if he weren't running himself and that he'll take this joke "as far as America wants to take it." (Read the Daily Beast to find out how Deez Nuts got into the polls.)