Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang might not have appeared at Tuesday night’s debate, but that it didn’t stop him from being part of the conversation. That night, the three frontrunners — Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren — were the top three most-tweeted-about candidates. In fourth was Yang, who is sixth in the overall polling average.
Supporters of the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur also trended #AmericaNeedsYang along with why they believe Yang’s policy proposals are necessary for America, Heavy reported. His campaign’s signature proposal is a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every United States citizen, focusing on its necessity in the face of an economy that is shifting due to automation.
Yang hit 5 percent or higher in two of the four required DNC-approved qualifying polls. His campaign also commissioned two polls of its own amid a lack of surveys during the holiday season. Each of them put Yang at 5 percent, which prompted his team to call on the DNC to allow him to take the debate stage. The appeal was not successful.
Regardless, Tuesday brought big news for Yang in the form of an official endorsement from comedian Dave Chappelle.
“Dave is one of the most important voices in our country today and I’m thrilled he has thrown his support behind this campaign,” Yang said in a statement, per Business Insider. “He and I share similar concerns about the future and hopes for what it could be. We are also parents who see the world that we are leaving to our kids and believe they deserve better.”
Andrew Yang on his economic policies and where the other Democratic candidates stand: "One of the jokes we told … I'm either going to become president or the other candidates are going to sound a whole lot like me." pic.twitter.com/tYex7gJT3X
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 15, 2020
On debate night, Yang’s Twitter account was taken over by his Twitter friends, who tweeted the reasons why Yang is a compelling voice who needs to be on the debate stage. One such friend was Norm Macdonald, who is another comedian on the long list of performers who have endorsed the Democratic candidate.
During an appearance on MSNBC after the debate, anchor Stephanie Ruhle noted that some of the other candidates on the stage talked about issues that Yang has been talking about throughout his campaign. In response, Yang noted that he has always believed that his ideas were necessary and would take hold in the national conversation regardless of whether he ends up becoming president.
It’s still unclear what the requirements are for the February debate. Per Vox, the next debate is on February 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is the first of three taking place in the early voting states.