Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign has continued to gain momentum and recently hit its highest point yet when the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur hit 8 percent in a national Emerson poll, putting him in fourth place behind frontrunners Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.
Despite breaking through in the face of dismissive mainstream media coverage, Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann, claims that their movement continues to face doubt over just how far it can go. According to Graumann, it hasn’t stopped them.
“What’s more unrealistic — going from anonymous to 4th in the polls, or going from 4th to 1st? People keep telling me we have no shot. Sounds great. We will keep proving you wrong.”
Much like Sanders and Warren, Yang’s campaign has drawn its passionate grassroots following by taking aim at the current state of the U.S. economy and offering solutions to help middle-class Americans that continue to feel increasingly left behind.
But while Sanders and Warren pose a wealth tax to close the gap between the biggest winners and the average American, Yang seeks to instead address this inequality by implementing a value-added tax (VAT) to tax the Big Tech companies, which he claims are posed to benefit the most from the automation of the economy — or “The Great Displacement,” as he calls it.
With this money, Yang plans to fund his signature proposal of a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every American adult.
Even if Yang doesn’t end up securing the nomination, it appears that his campaign has already succeeded in pushing the concept of UBI into the mainstream. A recent September The Hill-HarrisX poll reveals that 49 percent of registered voters are now in favor of UBI, compared to just 43 percent in February. In particular, the proposal has the most support among young people — 72 percent of those polled between 18- to 34-years-old were in favor of the idea.
“Amazon is laughing at us,” Andrew Yang says. “Google is laughing at us. They’re all moving their earnings to Ireland, running their hands together and laughing.” #nhpolitics pic.twitter.com/zXk3ofAfAo— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) September 27, 2019
Regardless, Yang’s campaign has remained relentlessly optimistic despite criticism that he is a “doomsday” candidate. He believes that the threat of automation to the American way of life is very real and his UBI solution is the right path forward.
“I’m not someone holed up in my basement waiting for the waters to overtake me. I’m trying to fight it with every fiber of my being,” he said. “And that, to me, speaks to my sense of the possibilities still in front of us. I’m a parent. I’ve got two young boys, and I’ll be damned if I just rest while the future I see coming up just overtakes us all.”
Yang is currently in sixth place in national polling with 3.3 percent support. He is set to appear in the October debate and needs 3 percent or higher in two more DNC-approved polls to qualify for the November debate.