In a New Hampshire rally held on February 11, Andrew Yang made the announcement that he was dropping out of the 2020 Presidential race, to the devastation of hundreds of his attending supporters— the Yang Gang.
In the beginning of Yang’s run, he was seen as a joke. It’s hard to take him seriously as a candidate when his presence in politics is nonexistent. The idea of handing out billions of dollars to every American seemed absurd, and it’s unlikely he would have won with his polling numbers. The mixture of not having a strong social presence before his run and underrepresentation in news he faced early on in his campaign factors in the struggle Yang had to overcome. The fact that Yang has no political experience is a bit reminiscent of the current president, yet he surprised the majority of America with how far he had gotten with his bold stances. Yang’s strong internet presence and popularity with the younger generation gave supporters a glimpse of hope that he would win the Democratic nomination.
Yang has only recently gained traction in mainstream media towards the end of his campaign in mainstream politics. He has polled the highest out of the top six Democratic nominees in the Eastern Region, according to a diagram in Business Insider.
But even this new boost of popularity could not save him in this race. His lack of political experience and idealistic takes on politics is what cost him the election, as he did not emerge with a single delegate from Iowa. He was polling just 3% in New Hampshire in the minutes ticking to his big announcement. It seems that voters are not ready for his liberal standpoint on political and social views.
“I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race,” Yang said, “so tonight I am announcing that I am suspending my campaign for president.”
Many did not take his ideas of Universal Basic Income and no previous experience in politics seriously. Yang’s policies included the constantly ripped upon Freedom Dividend, Human Centered Capitalism, and Medicare for all. The Freedom Dividend, Yang’s interpretation of Universal Basic Income, guaranteed that all American citizens over 18 would receive $1000 a month, no questions asked. This concept has become less idealized when the question of what would fund the UBI. With this system in place, over $200 billion would be handed out each month.
The idea of a Universal Basic Income is an attractive concept. Of course, who wouldn’t love free money? America is an expensive place to live comfortably, especially for college students working full time in California. The thousand dollar stipend could mean , but the possibility of pulling funding from areas that are already low in funds doesn’t seem the most ethical.
Yang has slowly but surely built up his political fan base, but has been falling behind in several Caucus elections due to Bernie Sander’s more recent popularity. Yang Gang might have something to look forward to for the next election, as Andrew Yang posted a picture hinting for a new 2024 campaign in tweet.
If he is planning on running again in 2024, the fact that he is inserting himself into politics is a smart move. His dropping out of the race is a smart move—he can now form a presence in government, expand his fan base, and solidify his campaign promises.
For now, he is still knee deep in the political scene as a CNN Political commentator, where he has given his opinions to contribute “to the public discussion” of politics.
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