'I can't believe I lost to these people': Andrew Yang ends presidential bid with emotional speech

Bernie Sanders, Pete Butttigieg and Amy Klobuchar take momentum into South Carolina and Nevada

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 11 February 2020 21:06 GMT
US Democratic debate: Andrew Yang on being the only candidate of colour in the democratic primary election race

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is ending his presidential campaign, after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary where Bernie Sanders, Pete Butttigieg and Amy Klobuchar looked set for a good night.

The 45-year-old millionaire, one of the few candidates of colour left among the top 10 or so Democrats in the race, had been counting on a strong showing in the Granite state, after managing to secure barely 1 per cent of supporters in the caucuses in Iowa a week ago.

But with early results in New Hampshire showing Mr Yang trailing badly, and with just 3 per cent of ballots next to his name, he let it be known he was suspending his campaign.

“I am a numbers guy,” Mr Yang told the Washington Post, before addressing supporters in the city of Manchester. “In most of these [upcoming] states, I’m not going to be at a threshold where I get delegates, which makes sticking around not necessarily helpful or productive in terms of furthering the goals of this campaign.”

Mr Sanders, Mr Butttigieg and Ms Klobuchar were the candidates leaving New Hampshire with smiles on their faces.

Mr Yang, the Ivy League-educated son of Taiwanese immigrants, who was bidding to be the country’s first Asian-American president, launched his long-shot candidacy in 2017 as a virtual unknown.

His signature proposal, a universal basic income that would pay every American $1,000 a month, was his answer to the “fourth industrial revolution”.

Andrew Yang's latest campaign featuring his special needs child

“Donald Trump is not the cause of all our problems, and we’re making a mistake when we act like he is,” Mr Yang said at a Democratic debate on Friday.

Mr Yang had a small but vocal slice of supporters, which he often referred to as the “Yang Gang”, and which often claimed he was not given the same opportunities as other candidates to speak during the Democratic Party debates. Those candidates still in the race will now be vying for their support, no matter how modest their number.

During a debate in December, after Kamala Harris had dropped out but while Cory Booker was still contesting, he was asked how he felt about there being so little diversity among the candidates.

“It’s both an honour and disappointment to be the lone candidate of colour on the stage tonight,” he said.

“I miss Kamala, I miss Cory – although I think Cory will be back.”

Mr Yang lasted longer than many had expected, sticking in the race after senators and governors with much greater name recognition, and after initially self-funding his campaign.

In the end, he raised more money than most of his rivals, bringing in over $16m in the final quarter of last year. It was a bigger haul than all but the top four candidates – Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Additional reporting Associated Press

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