- Lucas Jackson/Reuters
- Businessman Andrew Yang has experienced a meteoric rise in the 2020 field thanks to his dedicated and extremely online base of supporters known as the Yang Gang.
- If Yang’s candidacy doesn’t end up staying viable through the first few primary and caucus contests, his sizeable base of supporters will be up for grabs.
- According to Insider polling, about two-thirds of Yang supporters also like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and around half like Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
- Yang, Sanders, and Warren all have crystal-clear campaign messages that advocate for sweeping, systemic changes to the American market economy.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Businessman Andrew Yang has experienced a meteoric rise in the 2020 field, and is now averaging in sixth place in Real Clear Politics’ polling average thanks to his dedicated and extremely online base of supporters known as the Yang Gang.
Having secured a base of 200,000 unique donors and qualified for the next round of debates in September and October, the Yang campaign isn’t going away anytime soon – and could be seriously competitive in early primary contests.
But if Yang’s candidacy doesn’t end up staying viable through the first few primary and caucus contests, his sizeable base of supporters will be up for grabs.
For the last several months, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience poll to track the state of the 2020 Democratic primary field and determine how if a given candidate were to drop out of the race, who that candidate’s supporters would flock to next.
Between June and August of 2019, we surveyed 3,980 likely Democratic primary voters on whether they had heard of Yang and if they would be satisfied with him as the Democratic nominee.
Out of the 382 respondents who would be satisfied with Yang as the nominee:
- 67% like Sen. Bernie Sanders
- 66% like Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- 51% also like Sen. Kamala Harris
- 48% like Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- And 45% like former Vice President Joe Biden
It isn’t too surprising that Sanders and Warren enjoy the most support among Yang’s backers. All three candidates have crystal-clear campaign messages that advocate for sweeping, systemic changes to the American market economy to place more economic and political power in the hands of the middle and working class.
Yang’s flagship campaign proposal is a universal basic income program he calls the Freedom Dividend that would give each American adult $1,000 per month, no strings attached.
Yang argues that the Freedom Dividend would not only help ameliorate economic inequality but would reward unpaid work like childcare and housework, boost innovation by providing entrepreneurs with more leeway to start new businesses, and give everyday workers more leverage to demand better working conditions from their employers.
Beyond the Freedom Dividend, Yang also advocates for other progressive policies and expansive social programs including a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system, free community college, and nationwide marijuana legalization.
Like many of his supporters, Yang also seems to admire Sanders, tweeting, “Happy Birthday to Bernie Sanders! He has moved our country in the right direction and he’s not done yet,” for Sanders’ 78th birthday on Sunday.
In his 2016 presidential run, Sanders championed many of the progressive policies and expansive social programs Yang also advocates for, including a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system.
Unlike Sanders, neither Warren nor Yang identify as Democratic socialists or advocate for total state control of certain industries.
Both fundamentally believe in market capitalism, but are arguing for major reforms of the American market economy as it exists to put more power in the hands of everyday workers.
“This is not socialism, this is capitalism where income doesn’t start at zero,” Yang told CBS of his universal basic income plan in March. “If you think about where Americans are going to spend this money, they’re going to spend it at their local businesses, their main street economy.”
Warren too has seen her support and favorability in the Democratic primary field surge over the past few months by positioning herself as the policy wonk in the race, making “I’ve got a plan for that” her unofficial slogan.
The Massachusetts Senator says she would fund her policy proposals – which also include Medicare for All, debt-free college, and universal childcare – with a wealth tax on two cents of every dollar American individuals earn over $50 million.
Yang, Sanders, and Warren will all appear on the same debate stage for the first time in the 2020 campaign cycle in Houston on Thursday, September 12.