Can Andrew Yang win the Democratic presidential nomination? | The Tylt

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Can Andrew Yang win the Democratic presidential nomination?
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#AndrewYangCanWin

Andrew Yang stands out from the crowd of Democratic candidates for how unconventional and unlikely his campaign has been. He's built an extremely motivated online fanbase. Yang motivates his followers at levels that other candidates could only hope for. Despite his outsider status, he made his way into every single Democratic debate so far—beating out other more seasoned Democratic politicians. In an incredibly crowded year, Yang has made himself relevant when many have failed to catch the public's notice. 

Here's how Chris Cillizza at CNN summarized Yang's campaign so far:

* Money: Yang raised $10 million in the third fundraising quarter, more than, among others, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and former candidate Beto O'Rourke. And his money momentum is all in the good direction.
* Polling: Yang started at roughly 0% everywhere. He's now up to 3% nationally and in Iowa, according to Real Clear Politics, and at 2% in New Hampshire. Which isn't amazing! But again, trajectory matters. Yang has continued to slowly but surely gain support even while many of his opponents have lost it. And he already has three polls (out of the four he needs) showing him at 4% or better in either early state or national polling to make the December debate.
* Grassroots energy: Yang has already gone over 200,000 individual donors. His online following is rabid and organized.
* Policy: There was a discussion of UBI -- Yang has proposed that every person 18 or older get $1,000 from the government each month -- in the October debate, which was a) stunning and b) a major win for Yang and his allies. Yang's focus on the effects of automation and the need to begin considering our data as our most valuable resource are also helping to drive conversation in the race.
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Yang has a bipartisan appeal no other Democratic candidate comes close to having. 

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His grassroots support is strong and growing. 

#AndrewYangUnrealistic

At the end of the day, Yang is a fringe candidate. His biggest weakness is his outsider status. His radical policy proposals have inspired an extremely motivated following, but it's not necessarily a winning following. He has a niche appeal to Democratic constituencies—he's popular with young voters and the tech crowd. To win the nomination and presidency, however, Yang would need to broaden his appeal—at the end of the day, he needs to win the in swing states that will determine the election. 

538 took a look at Yang's chances of winning the presidency. Spoiler alert: his chances are pretty small.

Because of his lack of political experience, narrow coalition and niche platform, Yang remains a long shot for the Democratic nomination. But we can no longer say with confidence that he is any more of a long shot than several other candidates. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself. And just as Sen. Bernie Sanders did with policy proposals like “Medicare for All” and free college in 2016, Yang could accomplish something even by losing: He may yet succeed at bringing the universal basic income into the Democratic mainstream.
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Yang may be interesting but he doesn't have a path forward to win. 

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At another level, his critics say Yang is proposing bad policy. The reality he's forecasting isn't coming true—the robots aren't coming for our jobs. The problem he wants to fix doesn't actually exist according to some economists. 

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Can Andrew Yang win the Democratic presidential nomination?
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