Feb 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Andrew Yang drops out of 2020 presidential race

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced on Tuesday night that he has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.

The big picture: Yang, who's never held public office, centered his campaign on universal basic income, wherein he proposed giving all Americans over 18 years of age $1,000 every month.

The state of play: Consistent mid-range polling landed Yang a spot on all but one of the first debate stages — including as the only person of color in the December and February debates.

  • Yang announced his decision in multiple media interviews.
  • He had failed to qualify for the January debate. He asked the Democratic National Committee to commission more early state qualifying polls prior to the event, which the committee declined, per The Daily Beast.
  • He'd hoped more opportunities to qualify could boost diversity on the debate stage, the Beast notes.

Between the lines: Yang argued he was dismissed by the media as a legitimate candidate, despite his strong polling numbers. Following the November Democratic debate, he demanded MSNBC — the event host — apologize for his lack of talk time, as he was the lowest of all the candidates on stage.

  • He was repeatedly left off of graphics of candidates, prompting his supporters to launch a #YangMediaBlackout after an omission from CNN.
  • He gained a dedicated online following, dubbed the #YangGang, that backed him across platforms.

Go deeper: 2020 presidential election: Track the candidates

Go deeper

Andrew Yang lays off dozens of campaign staffers

Andrew Yang speaks on the campaign trail on Feb. 5 in New Hampshire. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former tech executive and 2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang laid off "dozens of campaign staffers this week" after performing poorly in the Iowa caucuses, Politico reports.

The big picture: The full results of the caucus have not yet been released and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez called for Iowa Democrats to "immediately begin a recanvass" on Thursday. Yet even with a recanvass, Yang is unlikely to beat top 2020 candidates or see significantly different results.

Yang says he's not sure if Bloomberg is "excited" about DNC debate change

Andrew Yang said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that he's not sure if fellow 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg is "excited" to participate in the Democratic primary debates, following a rule change by the Democratic National Committee that will eliminate the individual-donor threshold.

Andrew Yang calls on flagging 2020 hopefuls to follow him and bow out

Andrew Yang in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Andrew Yang referenced his departure from the 2020 race on CNN Saturday when he suggested the candidates should narrow the Democratic field, saying, "Someone needs to pull an Andrew Yang and be like, 'I've done the math, I'm not going to win.'"

Details: Yang said after Sen. Bernie Sanders was projected to win the Nevada caucus, "The rest of the field needs to consolidate, ideally." He noted, "each candidate wants to be the last person standing to absorb the non-Bernie energy." But he added Sanders is "unlikely to get an outright majority of delegates heading into the convention, which is going to set the stage for the superdelegates to emerge, and then you're looking at a contested convention."

Go deeper: 2020 presidential election: Track the candidates