Not long after he was left off an MSNBC graphic in favor of Michael Bloomberg, who had yet to enter the Democratic presidential primary, candidate Andrew Yang received the least amount of speaking time at the fifth presidential debate. Given that this is the fifth time in a row Yang has ranked least in speaking time and MSNBC’s frequent dismissiveness of the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur’s campaign, his supporters were not happy. In response, they took to Twitter to push the “MSNBCFearsYang” hashtag into the tops trends.
“Cory Booker got 0 qualifying polls. Andrew Yang got 3 qualifying polls. Guess which of the two got the least amount of speaking time? Hint: it’s NOT the guy who got 0 qualifying polls,” one user tweeted.
Yang’s supporters weren’t the only ones to notice.
“So much for the promise of equal time for all candidates, @AndrewYang got half the time as the usual media favorites. Typical,” tweeted fellow Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.
“30 minutes in. Not ONE word from Andrew Yang,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza tweeted.
The Washington Examiner reports that Yang also addressed his lack of speaking time following the debate.
“It felt great,” he said about appearing on the debate stage.
“But then it felt like when the hell are they going to f*cking call on me? The hypocrisy of MSNBC in a way just makes us stronger.”
— Scott Santens???? (@scottsantens) November 21, 2019
Yang is currently sixth in the polls with 2.8 percent average polling support, ahead of Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker, and Gabbard — all of whom shared the stage with him on Wednesday and received more of the spotlight. Theories explaining his consistent exclusion suggest everything from racism against Asian Americans to a focus on candidates from areas that align with the geography and demographics of the major media outlets.
Despite Yang’s lack of speaking time, FiveThirtyEight reports that he received the most positive boost in net favorability from before and after the debate, jumping from +12.4 to +17. The political outsider also received praise for his performance from Cillizza despite his lack of speaking time. Writing for CNN, Cillizza claims that when Yang did speak, he was “by far” the “most relatable candidate.” Cillizza said he believes Yang is ahead of the pack with his views on the value of data and universal basic income (UBI) — his campaign’s central proposal — and highlighted that he has far outperformed expectations.
Yang has met the donor threshold for the December debate and needs 4 percent or higher in one more DNC-approved poll to take the stage.