Deez Nuts may be the most notorious of this year's alternative presidential candidates, but he's not the only one. In fact, there are more than 1,200 "solitary fringe presidential aspirants," as Kevin Hogan calls them in the Atlantic, even though most of them will likely never make their way onto a state ballot. It's not hard to become a POTUS contender, Hogan explains: All a candidate has to do is complete and send in forms found on the Federal Election Commission's website. But whether you throw your lot in as a Republican (almost 200 of them so far), Democrat (more than 130), another party, or as an independent, you can, "for the rest of your life … claim, 'I ran for President!' Even if you only got 15 votes in New Hampshire," a former senior legal analyst for CNN tells the magazine.
There are way more contenders this time around than in the last election, which counted just under 420 applicants. The Atlantic notes the publicity garnered by Mr. Nuts may have upped interest in the gig, though many are obviously jokes—unless Mickey Mouse and the Tom Brady Sketch really are making a serious run for the White House—and some are concentrating on decidedly niche agendas: For example, a Democrat who contacted Hogan has a foreign policy that revolves around swimming pools due to the heat exhaustion she's experienced. But then there are the ostensibly serious candidates who got "acrimonious" with Hogan after getting pressed about their runs, including a 74-year-old man who says he first got a vision of becoming president when he was 4. "I write books," he told Hogan. "I have a giant sense of words, world orders, and word hors oeuvres [sic]—a new word order. I speak, I win. I have a date with the universe I cannot be late." So there's that.