On February 11th, Andrew Yang officially suspended his campaign for President of the United States after suffering a lack of support within both Iowa and New Hampshire for the Democratic Primaries. While Yang’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election was a long shot in every sense of the word, his accumulation of a steadfast base of supporters over the past year is nothing short of an extraordinary feat - one that much of the dropout Democrats who have held public office before could not achieve for themselves. The two questions on everybody’s mind now is: what does this mean for Yang’s significant support base, and where does this place Yang in the political realm?
Representative Bernie Sanders of Vermont has notably received a surge new supporters; It’s no secret where much of them came from: Yang made it know that he held Sander’s in very high regards, and was in favor of a great many of Sanders’ policies as a congressman, and plans for the presidency. Both men are pioneers of ensuring both a government mandated healthcare system, as well as “universal basic income” for those who need it most. To nobody’s surprise, the majority of Yang’s former supporters have resorted to endorsing Sanders’ campaign, which could potentially give Sander’s the votes he needs for the nomination. During the Nevada debate (the first of which Michael Bloomberg was invited to) Yang tweeted out critiquing each and every one of the candidates, often defending points made by Sanders whilst criticizing Bloomberg’s arguments. It’s undeniable that the approximate 3% that supported Yang are duly considering his words in selecting a new candidate to endorse.
As of now, Andrew Yang is yet to announce his next steps. Venture for America will presumably remain his priority, given that the company reflects the policies he advocated for in his presidential campaign. The entrepreneur stated in a press release that, “While we did not win this election, the Yang Gang is just getting started” lending hope to his support base for a future political campaign. It’s not uncommon for successful business owners to kickstart their political careers by entering a race which they are unlikely to win, purely to put their name into people’s heads for future campaigns. Much of Yang’s support base hold the belief that Yang shares that very sentiment, and that his political maneuvering has only just begun.
My Opinion: Andrew Yang was known to have a large support base within Generation Z (today’s teenagers and young adults) I myself was a strong supporter of Yang’s campaign for several reasons, the most prominent of which being his sincerity: Yang often complained about being censored by the mainstream media for possessing unflattering views about other members of his party, as well as multiple media outlets. In a period of American history in which character is evidently not required to hold public office, seeing a candidate with the integrity to speak out against corruption in his own party, and publicly recognize his own mistakes is truly a breath of fresh air. Despite my own disappointment, I understand the illogicality of continuing to uphold a futile campaign in the wake of such unforgiving polls from Iowa and New Hampshire.