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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

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.