Yang Qualifies For November Debate

Andrew Yang/ Getty Images
October 8, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced on Tuesday that he has qualified for the November Democratic debate.

Democrats have set ever higher polling and contribution thresholds to qualify for the debate stage in an effort to narrow a field that once featured two dozen declared candidates. Yang, a tech entrepreneur running an insurgent campaign, announced that the 3 percent national support he garnered in a Quinnipiac poll was enough to keep him in the conversation.

The Quinnipiac poll has Yang tied with Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.). The results follow a California primary poll showing Yang beating Harris in the senator's home state. Yang also reported a major fundraising haul over the past three months, receiving $10 million in donations. "My 'mailing list' when I started this campaign was my Google address book," he tweeted when news of his fundraising broke.

Yang continues to attract enough popular support to remain on the debate stage despite criticism that he has never held public office. The businessman consistently polls around 3 percent nationally, placing him well below the leading candidates but ahead of former congressman Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) and Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.).

Candidates are facing tougher requirements from the Democratic National Committee for the November debate. They are required to have at least 3 percent in 4 separate polls or at least 5 percent support in 2 polls taken in early primary states. They are also required to have 165,000 unique donors.

Yang is the eighth candidate to qualify for the November debate. On Sunday, billionaire impeachment activist Tom Steyer announced he had qualified. Booker, who recently met a self-imposed funding requirement, announced his qualification in September.

Yang has made headlines in past debates despite limited speaking time compared to his rivals. He led off the September debate by promising that his campaign would give $120,000 to 10 families selected at random as part of a test run of his proposed universal basic income policy.