Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang have taken to Twitter to push the “EndorseAndrewYang” hashtag, which made it into the top trends on the social media platform ahead of Wednesday’s night’s Democratic presidential debate.
Along with the hashtag, Yang’s supporters explained the reason why they are voting for the 44-year-old entrepreneur and his campaign, which centers around a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every American adult.
“I endorse @AndrewYang because he’s the only candidate whose platform is based on real, practical and BOLD solutions, not ideology or ‘politics.’ It’s not left, it’s not right, it’s forward,” wrote Kat Loves LA creator Paget Kagy.
“I #EndorseAndrewYang because he looks through a lens of helping ALL Americans and his policies would help rural economies more than any other candidate,” wrote Twitter user Jamie.
#IEndorseAndrewYang because I want humans to be seen as an investment instead of a cost,” added Twitter user Anna Williamson.
Another user, Bradley, said that Yang’s UBI — branded the “Freedom Dividend” — would be a “game changer” for people like his mother, who he says cares for his disabled father around the clock. According to Bradley, the current United States economy doesn’t value his mother or her hard work, though he notes it’s “some of the hardest work on the planet.”
Yang’s supporters are highly active on social media and have trended numerous other hashtags in support of their candidate. When an Emerson College poll of New Hampshire showed Yang beating Donald Trump by eight points, they helped make the “YangBeatsTrump” hashtag one of the top five Twitter trends. On numerous other occasions, Yang’s supporters have pushed the “YangMediaBlackout” hashtag following omissions from mainstream media coverage — a recurring pattern for the political outsider’s campaign.
Yang’s massively online approach has gained him a strong grassroots following that has brought him into sixth place in the polls ahead of career politicians like Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar. BuzzFeed News reports that his name was the fourth-most trending phrase on Twitter during the first hour of the September debate, and “YangDebateSurprise” was the 11th-most trending hashtag. In addition, over 116,000 people reportedly went to Yang’s website following the announcement that he would be giving away 10 pilots of his UBI proposal.
Although Yang continues to remain tightly connected to his fans and maintains a robust online presence, his campaign is expanding into more traditional media outlets. The Daily Beast reported that he invested $1 million on a statewide ad campaign in Iowa. The ad was likely possible due to his third fundraising quarter, which saw him raise over $10 million.