Presented By

Many know that Donald Trump’s presence has thrown a wrench in the race for the Republican nomination, stirring up discontent among voters with government and politicians. But there’s another non-politician who has thrown his hat in the ring and is making headlines: the top-polling Independent candidate, Deez Nuts.

Deez Nuts, who is actually a high school boy in Iowa named Brady Olson, came in at 9% in a recent Public Policy Polling poll of voters in North Carolina that match him up against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“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,” Olson told the Guardian in an email. “I’ve told my family and some of my friends from school. They still think it’s hilarious.”

The name comes from a 90’s rap song by Dr. Dre.

There are a host of reasons that Deez Nuts’ apparent zeitgeist isn’t a real factor in the race, including the fact that PPP’s polling often errs on the silly side in terms of questioning, and it’s a Democratic polling company. Jim Williams, an analyst at PPP who conducted the poll, said a segment of voters also are attracted to non-establishment party candidates. ““You could call [the third party candidate] anything,” he said to the Guardian, “and they would get their 7% or 8%.”

Still, the Deez Nuts momentum is part of a larger trend in the primary season, in which voters are bucking career politician candidates. Trump, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former tech CEO Carly Fiorina, the three mainstream candidates who haven’t held elected office, have all also seen polling bumps in recent weeks.

The PPP poll was a survey of 957 voters in North Carolina, 406 of which were Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

Read next: Donald Trump Has Landed

Listen to the most important stories of the day

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Tessa Berenson at

You May Also Like