When the numbers began to come in for the New Hampshire Primary, word started to come out that entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang would be suspending his campaign. That was later confirmed in an e-mail sent to supporters moments later.
“And while there is great work left to be done, I am the MATH guy. And it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.
And so tonight, I am suspending my campaign for president.
This is not an easy decision. Endings are hard and I’ve always intended to stay in this race until the very end. But I have been convinced that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by my staying in this race any longer.”
The Yang Campaign was quite fun to watch as a relatively unknown candidate with just a handful of staff began to pick up traction by appearing on non-traditional media. His appearances on various podcasts such as The Joe Rogan Experience helped build momentum for his campaign. Andrew Yang used these platforms to showcase his policies and did so with clever slogans like Make America Think Harder (MATH). He began to build a passionate fan base dubbed the Yang Gang.
While podcasts and other forms of media on the internet were receptive to Yang, it quickly became apparent that the traditional media outlets were not as welcoming. The proof lies in the debate stage, where Yang consistently had the least speaking time of the candidates. He was also mistreated by establishment competitors like Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who laughed mockingly after his opening statement during the September debates.
The media was also quick to not cover the Yang campaign and, instead, focused on other candidates. This included Tom Steyer, who consistently polled lower than the upstart candidate from New York. He found himself often left off cable news screens when showing poll numbers and fundraising charts, while pundits discarded his candidacy to the dismay of Yang supporters. The media decided they had little interest in Andrew Yang, and it showed.
It was a shame, too.
While Andrew Yang has put an end to his presidential ambitions for the time being, he deserves credit for how he’s changed the political landscape. His candor on climate change was a much-needed voice when he was offered little speaking time on the debate stage. The harsh truth that automation is a danger to the working class was accurate and virtually unmentioned by the media until Yang came along. The attention he brought to the caregivers of our society, such as stay at home mothers who are undervalued because they do not collect paychecks, was on point.
He also offered a solution to these visible national woes in the form of Universal Basic Income, which he dubbed a Freedom Dividend. The guarantee of thousand-dollar monthly checks to help alleviate the increasing burden that would be felt by the working class was well-received by many. Yang had many other platforms that were palatable, but these were what stuck out the most.
Unfortunately for Yang, the lack of media coverage started to show with his numbers in New Hampshire topping out at 3% he saw his already narrow path to victory come to a close. He was greeted with kind words from politicians such as Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and allies on his campaign.
Thank you @AndrewYang for running an issue-focused campaign and working to bring new voters into the political process. I look forward to working together to defeat the corruption and bigotry of Donald Trump.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 12, 2020
You ran a great race, @AndrewYang. Your campaign focused on the future, and looked like you were having a lot of fun doing it. Thank you for bringing up ideas like UBI and opening a discourse on how we better value undervalued work like caregiving.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 12, 2020
Now, while Andrew Yang is left to ponder his future and his supporters are left to mourn their defeat, they should know that Andrew Yang’s future is still quite bright and that his contributions to the fight for a better future did not go unnoticed.