Yang suspends his historical presidential campaign
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced Tuesday he is suspending his Democratic campaign for president.
“We’ve accomplished so much together,” Yang said during a speech to supporters in Durham, N.H. announcing the end of his campaign.
The announcement comes after what’s expected to be a disappointing finish in Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire.
The end of the campaign was not totally unexpected: Yang had already let go of dozens of campaign staffers last week in the wake of a lackluster finish by the tech entrepreneur in Iowa.
Though he didn’t make it past the two early voting states, Yang’s rise is remarkable for someone who was hardly famous before entering the race.
When Yang declared his candidacy two years ago, he was the longest of long shots for the Democratic nomination. But last year, thanks to the popularity of his proposed “Freedom Dividend” – a universal basic income that would pay each adult American $1,000 per month – and his unconventional and energetic approach to campaigning, Yang soared to middle-tier status in the polls. And his fundraising figures surged as well late last year early this year.
In his speech to supporters Tuesday, he claimed his message on the universal basic income had gone “mainstream” in the Democratic Party.
Speaking to one news outlet, Yang also expressed sadness over the end of the campaign.
“There’s part of me that feels disappointed like I didn’t fulfill some people’s goals for this campaign,” Yang told BuzzFeed News. “There’s also a competitive part of me too — like I can’t believe I lost to these people.”
Yang, who made history as the first Asian American man to run for president as a Democrat, has largely shied away from “identity politics,” claiming it was divisive, however his heritage was a frequent topic of conversation on the campaign trail, particularly given the underrepresentation of Asian Americans in politics.
“The Yang campaign is significant even if it’s over,” said sociologist Anthony Ocampo. “The optics of an Asian American candidate commanding such widespread support, both in rallies and on social media, signals to aspiring Asian American politicians that there is a pathway for them — that they can legitimately aim for the highest office in the nation.”
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