by David Kent | staff writer
“The opposite of Donald Trump is an asian man who likes math,” has become one of many staple phrases used by presidential candidate and businessman, Andrew Yang. Yang started as a businessman who nobody knows about, and has now become one of the top contenders for Presidency. But, who exactly is Andrew Yang?
Yang has thus far qualified for every debate, except the most recent Jan. debate. As of this writing, Yang has qualified for the New Hampshire Democratic Debate. During the most recent debate, Yang was trending twice, the hashtag ‘#AmericaNeedsYang’ was at 24,244 tweets in the number one spot, and ‘#Yang2020’ was at 12,221 tweets in the number three spot. Overall, he surpassed Bernie who was trending with 16,514 tweets. What this shows is that the base for Yang is strong and that he has support behind him.
At the start of the presidential campaign, nobody knew who Yang was. Now, he is rising in popularity as donations soar. He has become so popular because of one of his biggest promises, Universal Basic Income (common misconceptions about UBI) or the ‘Freedom Dividend’ as it is called by his campaign. The UBI would promise $1,000 USD to each and every United States citizen above the age of 18. This policy has already seen some success in the state of Alaska, where there is a UBI of $2,000 USD. This UBI is paid for by the oil industry of Alaska.
Universal Basic Income has been proposed in the past by prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and now presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
The UBI sounds expensive, and it will be expensive. Yang has estimated it could cost up to a trillion dollars to fund it, and he already has a plan for how to pay for it. The presidential candidate has proposed implementing a Value-Added Tax policy. This tax policy would put an unspecified tax percentage on each stage of production for a product. For example, the metal used to make a car would be taxed, and then the rubber would be taxed, and then the car itself would be taxed. This policy would help to ensure that large technology corporations such as Google and Amazon would need to pay taxes.
Yang has received support from Republicans and Democrats alike, and even reportedly Donald Trump supporters, making this once ‘nobody’ become one of the few remaining candidates. He has received praise from the meme communities of Reddit and 4Chan alike, bringing with it a massively diverse crowd of internet supporters and youth supporters. Though a possible longshot, Yang has a high likelihood of succeeding. Given he has never held public office before, he is in the perfect position to enter in as an outsider.
[Update]: Yang has since suspended his campaign after the results of the New Hampshire democratic primaries.
Joe Biden acted as the Vice President to President Obama within the years 2009 and 2017. Since his time as Vice President, he has remained a prominent political figurehead in Washington. Out of the 29 presidential candidates who have run, he is one of the 12 remaining. Throughout his candidacy, he has remained far up on the polls, usually being in the number one spot for having the most voters. Because of this, he has qualified for every single poll, including the New Hampshire one on Feb. 11.
Biden comes into the race at the ripe age of 77, during a time where age is being factored into whether or not they should be in the White House according to voters.
His base is made up of primarily older voters reportedly from the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation whereas he hasn’t found much or any support from the ‘Millennial’ generation. Biden’s base is directly opposite to that of Bernie Sanders and Yang, who both have found lots of support from Millenial’s but not much support from Baby Boomers.
The former Vice President is running on a campaign of rebuilding the Middle Class which has become a staple of the current Democrat presidential line-up. Like many other candidates, he will run on a ‘Green’ energy policy in his campaign to combat the ever looming threat of climate change.
Most of Biden’s policy proposals are heavily in line with that of other Democrat candidates. Though what makes him stand out from the pack is his past which has been entrenched in public office. Most notably, being the Vice President to former President Obama. This has garnered him much support, and likewise criticism from both sides.
Despite what criticism he has received, Biden remains at the top of the ‘leaderboard’ for the Democrat presidential candidates which speaks heavily to his own support base. He is a large political figurehead with an equally large amount of supporters and critics alike. Though thus far in the Race for Presidency, his campaign remains charging forwards, keeping ahead of the race despite what opposition it faces.