Who is Andrew Yang?
Current job: Entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate.
Family: Yang and his wife Evelyn have two young sons.
Hometown: Schenectady, New York.
Political party: Democratic.
Previous jobs: Corporate lawyer, healthcare startup entrepreneur, CEO of Manhattan Test Prep, Founder and CEO of Venture for America.
Who is Andrew Yang's direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Andrew Yang's lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
- The average Yang-satisfied respondent said they were satisfied with 5 other candidates, which is okay: it means that people who like him tend to be considering just a few other choices. To stay competitive, he'll want to be in line with the top candidates in the race, for whom that number is less than four.
- This is encouraging for him: 8 percent of his supporters liked him and him alone, which is high at this point in the cycle. That means that he's been really good at locking down fans — only frontrunners Biden and Sanders have done better — which will serve him well later in the race.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren do better among Yang voters than they do among Democrats in general.
- While Former Vice President Joe Biden is popular among Yang supporters, the businessman's backers like Biden about 10 percentage points less than your typical Democrat.
Insider has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate's constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as the nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Andrew Yang's policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- Yang supports implementing a Medicare For All-style healthcare system in which Americans would receive publicly-funded healthcare instead of relying on getting healthcare through their employers.
- At the third Democratic debate in September, Yang said, "As someone who has run a business, I can tell you flat-out our current health care system makes it harder to hire, it makes it harder to treat people well and give them benefits, it makes it harder to change jobs, and it certainly makes it harder to start a business."
- He also joked, "I'm Asian, so I know a lot of doctors. And they tell me that they spend a lot of time on paperwork, avoiding being sued, and navigating the insurance bureaucracy. We have to change the incentives so that instead of revenue, people are focused on our healthcare system."
- Yang also wants to expand access to mental health services, advocating for an increase in providers serving rural areas, requiring insurance companies to cover postpartum depression screenings for new mothers, and incentivizing providers to use AI for more efficient healthcare.
- On immigration:
- Yang supports an "eighteen-year" path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants without criminal records who have lived in the United States for long periods of time.
- He also pledges to sign the DREAM Act into law, affording protection for undocumented people brought to the United States as children, and would expand the H1-B and F-1 visa programs to attract skilled immigrants.
- Yang also wants to invest in new technology to help secure the US' southern border, expand funding for Customs and Border Patrol, and reduce the backlog in US asylum and immigration courts.
- At the third Democratic debate in September, Yang said, "My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor. And now his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have to be able share with the American people."
- On climate change:
- Yang supports US government investment in cutting-edge technologies that could slow down the pace of climate change, like carbon capture and geoengineering.
- He would end federal government subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, and tax carbon emissions.
- Yang would also direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collaborate with private companies and local governments on innovative solutions to climate change.
- At a September CNN climate forum, Yang emphasized ensuring that all Americans have clean and pollution-free water to drink.
- But Yang has also been criticized for promoting a fatalistic view that climate destruction is inevitable, saying at the second Democratic debate that the Freedom Dividend would help people move to higher ground to avoid flooding.
- On campaign finance/election reform:
- Yang supports a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Citizens United v. FEC decision, as well as banning Super PACs and expanding public funding for elections.
- He also is favor of limiting Supreme Court Justices to 18-year terms
- As president, he says he would modernize and secure the US' existing election infrastructure by updating voting technology
- Yang also supports automatic voter registration, making election day a national holiday, extending statehood to Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, lowering the voting age to 16, and reducing partisan gerrymandering.
- On abortion:
- Yang supports the right to choose abortion and affordable contraception access. He says he would nominate federal judges who also support legal protection of abortion.
- On LGBTQ rights:
- Yang supports extending protected status under federal law to LGBTQ individuals to safeguard them against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- He also would increase government funding for programs that aid LGBTQ Americans who have faced discrimination.
- On education:
- Yang supports universal early childhood education, and the introduction of life-skills education in high schools for students who want to pursue trades.
- He also wants to make two-year community college education free or extremely low-cost, and implement a number of measures to implore four-year colleges to reduce their tuition costs.
- Yang also would like to promote and expand the amount of technical and vocational education available in high schools and colleges.
- In the wake of the college admissions scandal, Yang put a new policy plan to expand the class sizes at highly elite universities.
- Like fellow presidential candidate Kamala Harris, Yang supports increasing public school teacher pay.
- On guns:
- On Yang's campaign website, he presents a detailed plan to create a new, multi-tiered licensing system for firearms similar to the different levels of automobile licenses. These would require universal background checks.
- He would also introduce a federal weapons buyback program for those who want to surrender their weapons. Yang wants to create uniform federal safety standards and incentivize gun manufacturers to innovate new gun safety technology.
- After a spate of deadly mass shootings in the summer of 2019, Yang broke down in tears at the Iowa state fair while talking to a mother who lost her child to gun violence.
- On criminal justice reform:
- Yang supports a number of measures to reduce incarceration rates in the US, including legalizing marijuana, funding programs to re-integrate former prisoners in society and reduce recidivism, phasing out cash bail, and reducing federal contracts with private prisons.
- He also wants to combat the opioid crisis by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of opioids and funding addiction treatment programs by fining the pharmaceutical companies he sees as responsible for the crisis.
- Yang is also interested in federal funding to give American police officers body cameras, expanding community policing initiatives, and investing in "non-lethal weaponry that can be used to de-escalate conflicts."
- On trade:
- In an interview with the Basic Income Earth Network, Yang criticized the Trump administration for waging a trade war with China, saying it was "not productive" and causing headaches for businesses.
- At the third Democratic debate in September, Yang said he would not immediately repeal Trump's tariffs on China, but said, "I would let the Chinese know that we need to hammer out a deal, because these tariffs are pummeling producers and farmers and Iowa who have absolutely nothing to do with the trade imbalances with China."
- On foreign policy:
- Yang would embody a non-interventionist style of foreign policy, saying on his campaign website that he would repeal the Authorization for the use of Military Force, fully returning the power to declare war to Congress.
- He also says he would focus on strengthening America's relationships with its NATO allies and beef up the State Department's diplomacy efforts and outreach.
- At the fifth Democratic debate in November, Yang joked that in his first phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin he would say, "sorry I beat your guy," referring to Trump.
- On taxes:
- Yang supports the United States introducing a 10% value-added tax on big corporations, enacting a 0.1% tax on financial transactions, and ending the carried-interest investment loophole on capital gains.
- He also supports automatic income tax filing, modernizing the IRS to make it more efficient at processing taxes, and making tax day a federal holiday.
- On jobs and the economy:
- The policy Yang is best known for is his Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income program that would give $1,000 per month to every American adult and would be funded in part by taxes on companies that benefit the most from automation.
- Yang supports expanding vocational and technical training for students, and a program where the IRS would reimburse relocation expenses for people who have to move to find jobs.
- He would also create an American Journalism Fellows program that would give reporters grants to work at a local news outlet and report on local stories for four years.
- At the fifth Democratic debate in November, Yang emphasized the necessity for more affordable and flexible options for childcare, which has become increasingly expensive and out of reach for American families, saying, "We should not be pushing everyone to leave the home and go to the work force. Many parents see that tradeoff and say if they leave the home and go to work, they'd be spending all that money on child care anyway."
- On technology:
- As president, Yang would create a new cabinet-level position of Secretary of Technology and a Department of Technology, which would regulate artificial intelligence and other new technologies.
- He also wants to incentivize healthcare and medical device companies to develop new, innovative medical technologies.
- Yang supports bolstering federal regulation and standards for cryptocurrency trading and digital assets and enacting new encryption standards.
- He has also proposed giving people property rights over their own data, and allowing them to profit from their data.
- In a November 18 op-ed for CNN, Yang proposed creating a Department of Attention Economy to combat the negative and potentially addictive effects of technology on children and teens.
Some of Yang's other unique policy proposals include paying NCAA college athletes, providing free marriage counseling for all, and creating an exchange program for high school students to spend time in different parts of the country and meet people they otherwise wouldn't.
What are Andrew Yang's biggest successes?
- In the mid-200s, Yang was the CEO of elite test prep company Manhattan GMAT, which he and his partners sold to Kaplan in 2009.
- Yang went on to create Venture For America, a program that sends college graduates to work at startups in cities hit especially hard by the financial crisis.
- According to Yang, VFA's 500 fellows and alums have created more than 2,500 jobs in cities all around the country.
- Yang received a Champion of Change Award from the Obama White House in 2012, and was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015. He's also made the Fast Company list of the "100 most creative people in business."
How much money has Andrew Yang raised?
Yang disclosed raising just $659,578 between October of 2017 and December of 2018. But Yang's fundraising took off after he appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience and the Breakfast Club, a popular podcast and radio show, respectively. Yang reported raising $1.7 million from 80,000 donors who donated an average of just $17.92 in March and February alone, bringing his quarterly haul to $1.8 million.
In 2019's second quarter between April 1 and June 30, the Yang campaign reported raising $2.8 million. And in the third quarter between July 1 and September 30, Yang improved on his previous haul by a whopping $7.2 million, bringing in a total of $10 million and beating out multiple US Senators.
How is Andrew Yang viewed by voters compared to the competition?
Insider has conducted a number of other polls to check in on how these candidates are perceived in comparison to one another. When we asked respondents to one poll to rank how far to the left or to the right they considered the candidates, Yang was generally considered to be one of the more centrist candidates in the field.
Owing to his outsider perspective, Yang was identified one of the least experienced candidates in the field by far when we asked respondents to rank the candidates based on how prepared they are for the rigors of the presidency given what they knew about their history of public service and experience with government. And when asked how likable or personable respondents perceived the candidates to be, Yang was in the middle of the pack.
According to recent Insider polling, Yang also has the highest net support by far out of all the 2020 Democratic candidates among undecided general election voters who are considering voting for either party's nominee.
Out of the 268 undecided voters who knew of Yang, 46% would be satisfied with him as the nominee and 24% would not be satisfied, giving him positive net support of 21 percentage points, due to rounding error, among general election voters
Furthermore, Yang is locking down way more loyal supporters than any of the other candidates in the mid-tier of polling. Yang's supporters like an average of 5.5 candidates total, the lowest number out of the mid-tier candidates out of six Insider polls conducted between early September and early November.
Could Andrew Yang beat Trump?
Yang is considered by Democrats who know of him to be a weaker candidate against President Trump, projected to lose more often and win less often than a standard competitor.
How do Democratic voters feel about Andrew Yang's qualifications?
Insider has conducted polling about how voters feel about candidate attributes or qualifications. We asked respondents about a list of possible qualifications and if they made them more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for president.
For example, among respondents who said they'd vote in the Democratic primary, 19% said a candidate being a college professor made them likelier to support them, while 4% said it made them less likely to, for a +15% net favorability. We can then see how different candidates' resumes stack up compared to those preferences.
Attributes perceived as most valuable include he is multi-lingual (+25%), age 50 or younger (+23%), a child of immigrants (+21%), an Ivy League graduate (+7%) and a lawyer (+3%).
Attributes considered to be a liability based on the preferences of self-reported Democratic voters include his past as a business owner (-11%), that he spent little time in government (-22%), was a corporate lawyer (-33%) and grew up wealthy (-42%).
Read more of our best stories on Andrew Yang:
- Undecided 2020 voters like Andrew Yang and Joe Biden the most of all the Democratic candidates
- San Francisco's 'Yang Gang' is having lunch at Sam Altman's house to raise funds for presidential candidate Andrew Yang
- Andrew Yang wants to regulate big tech without breaking it up and says his fan Elon Musk is in full support
- Andrew Yang is locking down way more supporters than other non-frontrunners in the 2020 Democratic race
- Elizabeth Warren says Andrew Yang-backed universal basic income among 'options to consider' to ensure American financial well-being