Good news for Andrew Yang – he has qualified to participate in the New Hampshire Democrat primary debate. The bad news for Andrew Yang – he is still at the bottom of the heap of Democrat candidates.
Yang recently criticized the DNC for rejecting a Democrat debate on Fox News Channel (FNC). At the time, DNC Chairman Tom Perez justified the decision based on the coziness between President Trump and some of the anchors on FNC. It is a fact that no one disputes, especially Trump’s relationships with the nighttime opinion show hosts – Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Ingraham was even reported to have been considered for a job in the Trump administration. Perez seems to have based his decision on the opinion anchors, which is unfortunate. The other opinion show hosts on cable news channels all lean left, some rabidly so. Is Perez not confident enough in the party’s candidates to face objective or conservative-leaning debate hosts? Apparently that is the case.
“Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
In the minds of the left, one cable news channel that leans right is unacceptable. All channels must lean left and promote groupthink. This, by the way, is why FNC is the most-watched cable network. There is a market for half of the country that doesn’t want to swallow Democrat talking points 24/7. And, Independents are a part of FNC’s audience. Andrew Yang gets it. He thinks candidates should talk to everyone. “How can you win an election and bring the country together if you literally won’t talk to 40 or 50 percent of the population?”
.@AndrewYang says Democrats should be going on Fox News and criticizes the DNC for not letting the channel host a Democratic debate: "How can you win an election and bring the country together if you literally won't talk to 40 or 50% of the population?" https://t.co/F9xWFIU08W pic.twitter.com/U1ZglSxM19
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 24, 2020
He then brought up the debates specifically and said if he was in the DNC, he would’ve “jumped” at the opportunity to do a debate on Fox: “Let me show my candidates to people who generally watch Fox News.”
“But the DNC turned it down!” Yang said. “I was like, ‘What are you doing?’”
He’s right, of course. It’s also just lazy for Democrat candidates to avoid FNC interviews. It’s a lot easier to go to venues solidly in the Democrat camp than to go and try to bring in conservative or independent voters. It’s short-sighted, too because the winning candidate will need independent or swing voters to win the general election in 2020.
I watch the Sunday talking heads shows and conservatives are underrepresented on all of them, except Fox News Sunday. Conservative politicians do, though, sit for interviews on all of the shows. For example, Senator Mike Braun of Indiana was on NBC’s Meet the Press and Senator Tom Cotton on was CBS’s Face the Nation. They were answering questions about impeachment, the topic du jour. Andrew Yang was the guest on Fox News Sunday this week.
Some of the Democrat candidates appear on FNC. I can say I’ve seen interviews – mostly on Special Report with Bret Baier or Martha MacCallum’s show – with Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Tom Steyer, and Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg is doing a town hall with FNC tonight in Iowa. All of the candidates have been offered time for a town hall but few have taken the opportunity. Yang did, as did Klobuchar, and even Bernie Sanders did. It just makes sense.
Yang didn’t qualify for the Democrat debate in Iowa this month but he will be on the debate stage in New Hampshire on February 7.
To qualify, candidates need to hit 5 percent in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee (or 7 percent in two polls in New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina) and receive donations from at least 225,000 individuals. Alternatively, candidates can automatically qualify by winning at least one pledged delegate to the Democratic convention out of the Iowa caucuses.
He hit that polling mark in two separate polls released Sunday, and has long cleared the donor mark.
He isn’t at the top of the polling but he is hanging in there. He’s gaining name recognition, if nothing else.
In a Washington Post/ABC News national poll conducted by Langer Research, Yang was at 7 percent among Democratic adults and Democratic-leaning independents surveyed. In the poll, Biden was at 28 percent to Sanders’ 24 percent. Warren was at 11 percent, Mike Bloomberg was at 8 percent and Buttigieg was at 5 percent, the last candidate at or above that mark.
A second poll released on Sunday got Yang past the polling threshold. In a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll in the Granite State, Sanders was at 25 percent. Biden was at 16 percent, Buttigieg was at 15 percent and Warren was at 12 percent. Klobuchar was at 6 percent and Tulsi Gabbard and Yang were each at 5 percent.
Yang knows he has the opportunity to appeal to swing voters. He’s not a crazy leftist like most of the other candidates, even his $1,000 monthly entitlement proposal (Universal Basic Income) pales in comparison to other proposals we’ve heard this election cycle. He’s a Democrat and I wouldn’t vote for any Democrat but he’s less scary than most. It still looks like a contest between Biden and Bernie for the 2020 nomination and Trump is likely to be re-elected.