‘America Needs Yang’ Trends During Democratic Debate

Yang's MATH pin

Getty Yang

During the January Democratic debate, #AmericaNeedsYang was trending on Twitter. At the time of publication, it was trending at #5 in the country and climbing, and by the time the story published it had already climbed to #3. This was the first debate that Andrew Yang didn’t qualify for, and his absence has been felt.

Yang Didn’t Qualify for This Debate & Had Asked the DNC To Run More Qualifying Polls

Many talked about missing Andrew Yang during the debate. When Joe Biden talked about the rise of AI and automation, Yang supporters wished that Yang was there to talk about UBI, which is one of the main platforms of his campaign.

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When Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were debating on whether he had beat an incumbent in an election in the last 30 years, supporters wished that Yang was there with his math skills.

Yang is known for wearing a MATH pin in every debate, talking about automation, and making math knowledge a central part of his campaign, among his many other campaign platform issues. As the debate neared the end, Yang trended to #3 nationally.

And with #AmericaNeedsYang trending, people can’t stop talking about the man missing on the debate stage.

In order to qualify for this debate, the candidates needed to poll at 5 percent or higher in at least four national or early-state polls, or 7 percent or higher in two early-state polls. These must have been from qualifying organizations that released polls between November 14 and January 10. Another requirement was that candidates get 225,000 unique donors at least, which included 1,000 in at least 20 states.

Yang met the fundraising goal but not the poll requirements. He hit 5 percent in two polls out of the four that he needed.

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Yang filed a request in late December for the DNC to commission more polls before the January debate, USA Today reported. There were fewer qualifying polls this time around because of the holidays. Yang had said that the debate should include more early state polls before the deadline of January 10, citing that it had been more than a month since polls for some early-voting states were released. He said not adding extra polls would cut down on the diversity on the debate stage. The DNC denied this request.

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Yang then commissioned his own polls using the same companies that the Democratic Party used, The Hill reported. Those polls, said Nick Ryan, Yang’s campaign chief, showed him at 5% in both Nevada and New Hampshire.

Despite not being in the debate, Yang had his own exciting news when comedian Dave Chappelle endorsed him today.

Yang is perhaps one of the most unique candidates in a crowded Democratic primary race. His platform includes Medicare for All, requiring all police officers to wear cameras, paid family leave, media fragmentation, a call for UBI (Universal Basic Income), which he refers to as the Freedom Dividend, and more. The idea of a UBI has many supporters, including Elon Musk. Yang has said that a UBI will be necessary as America becomes increasingly automated.

Yang is talented at using memes and leaning into jokes and ideas that come from his supporters, and this is likely part of what has helped him gain momentum.