A recent Emerson College poll showed Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang in third place with 10 percent support behind Joe Biden‘s 27 percent and Bernie Sanders‘ 28 percent. The jump in polling numbers was great news for Yang, who has had an overall polling average of two to three percent for some time.
A closer look reveals more good news for Yang and his supporters — he received the most support from respondents who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and plan to vote in the 2020 Democratic primary. Specifically, of the 31 former Trump voters, 12 said they would vote for Yang, putting him at 38.7 percent support from this base. The only other candidate that comes close to achieving those numbers is Michael Bloomberg, who has 19.35 percent of that base’s support. Biden gains 6.45 percent from the group, while Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Tulsi Gabbard all gained 3.23 percent.
Although the sample size is small, it’s nevertheless a good sign for Yang and seems to indicate his campaign’s non-partisan messaging is getting across, gaining him support from across the political spectrum. The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur has made a habit of noting his belief that Trump is not the cause of the current problems the United States is facing, but a symptom. He has also stated that Trump’s impeachment is a distraction from the real issues facing the country.
In a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report, Jonathan Hopkins, a lifelong Democrat who voted for Sanders in 2016, said he believes that Trump’s success was tied to the president’s decision to address voters that felt left behind.
“This campaign brings together people who are so far ideologically apart that would never talk otherwise,” he said of Yang’s run for president, which he now supports.
Much like Trump, Yang’s campaign focuses on solutions that address the decline of the working class. But the younger entrepreneur differs from Trump on this issue, blaming automation and a shifting economy — not immigration — as the cause of this decline.
“Donald Trump’s our president today because he got a lot of the problems right,” Yang told an audience at a previous campaign event, per The Harvard Crimson. “But his solutions are obviously the exact opposite of what we need: build the wall, freeze time, turn the clock back, and what I’m saying is we need to turn the clock forward.”
One former Trump supporter previously spoke to Fox News multimedia reporter Rob DiRienzo about why he decided to switch his support to Yang.
“I’ve seen things in this country just get more and more divided no matter who’s in the White House, really,” he said, adding that Yang’s solutions made sense to him.
“It makes sense to me that it’s not immigrants, it’s automation that’s taking jobs in America,” he said.