Dec 12, 2019

Andrew Yang: Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg's enormous ad buys are a "dud"

Andrew Yang. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang noted that the heavy ad spend from his fellow 2020 contenders, billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, reflects "a very poor track record," of prior self-funded candidates, but stopped short of outright criticizing them, Yahoo reports.

The big picture: The two billionaires in the race have collectively spent more than $181 million in TV ads so far. The other Democratic candidates have spent about $28 million combined, according to data consulting company Kantar.

What Yang is saying:

  • "This has been demonstrated again and again — self-funded candidates have a very poor track record. I do not think this cycle is running any differently.”
  • “I’m less upset than some of the other candidates at Tom and Mike spending all this money because I think it’s going to be a dud."
  • "So I think this is something of a political science experiment, but I’m not concerned about either of them buying the election.”

Background: Other Democratic candidates have attacked the billionaires, saying they're buying their way into the race.

  • Julián Castro in a fundraising email wrote: “Ten months in Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is jumping in the race to use his personal fortune to try and buy the nomination. We don’t need another ego-driven billionaire flooding the airwaves. We know your support isn’t for sale.”
  • Sen. Cory Booker: "There are more billionaires than black people who’ve made the December debate stage — that’s a problem."

Go deeper: Trump and Buttigieg battle for young voters with Snapchat ads

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An issue-by-issue recap of the Democratic debate

Democratic presidential candidates in Los Angeles. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

One day after the House of Representatives reached a majority to impeach President Trump, the top 7 Democratic candidates took the stage Thursday in Los Angeles for the 6th debate.

The big picture: The candidates debated education, voting rights, reparations, transparency in their campaigns, Trump's impeachment and more.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 20, 2019

Campaigns target younger voters online

Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Campaigns are using targeted digital platforms to reach younger voters, especially first-time voters.

Driving the news: Facebook has become the primary platform for candidates to spend their political dollars online. The tech giant makes it easy for campaigns to buy ads at scale targeted to different age groups.

Tom Steyer qualifies for January debate

Tom Steyer. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Six candidates have qualified for the seventh Democratic debate, scheduled for Jan. 14, newly including billionaire Tom Steyer as of Thursday.

What's new: Steyer qualified for the debate after an apparent spike in early state polls in South Carolina and Nevada. He tied alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren for third place in Nevada, with both candidates hitting 12%. In South Carolina, Steyer landed in second place at 15%, but widely trailed behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who led the poll at 36%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 9, 2020