12 February 2020 03:23

Tucker Carlson Fox News Donald Trump

2020 democratic party presidential primaries

By choosing "I agree" below, you agree that NPR's sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR's sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR's traffic. Mr. Yang enjoyed steady growth from under the radar as higher-profile candidates took turns as the front-runner and absorbed the media scrutiny and attacks from rivals that came with that status. But two days after Mr. Yang's underwhelming performance in Iowa, his campaign laid off dozens of staff members from a team that had ballooned from fewer than a dozen people to over 200. Despite having raised more than $30 million over the course of his presidential campaign — a remarkable sum for a political outsider — Mr. Yang's team had only $3.7 million in cash on hand at the start of this year, according to federal filings. In an email to supporters last week, he suggested he would need to finish in the top four in the New Hampshire primary for the campaign to get "the boost" it needed — a goal he failed to achieve.

His departure from the race could aid Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom many of Mr. Yang's most loyal fans said they had voted for in 2016. But given that Mr. Yang's support in the polls never exceeded the mid-single-digits, no candidate is likely to be significantly helped by his exit. "We are just getting started," Zach Graumann, Mr. Yang's campaign manager, said Tuesday. The Sanders campaign more than any other has been griping about Yang for a while, feeling as though he was taking some of their votes. That's certainly true for some, but so many of the people I met at Yang events around the country told me that they were there for him. She's a former Republican who voted for Hillary Clinton, but wasn't committed to any of the Democrats this year before she watched Yang's interview with the New York Times editorial board a few weeks ago. She'll vote for whomever the candidate against Trump is, she said, but she was clearly unhappy about the thought of it not being Yang. "I want him to at least get through New Hampshire so more people can hear from him," she said. Then, when I didn't mention Yang in some of my early campaign coverage of events he'd attended, he emailed me himself. "If I tried to act like a … 'conventional' presidential candidate, I think we would've been stuck in the mud a long time ago," he told me. Introducing him at the event last night, former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand urged the crowd to support Yang by saying that with this candidate, they didn't need to settle as they would with others. "One of the things that we have to be … is a student of how to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good," Yang said. There are going to be many disappointed people, but we have to try and choose someone who's going to actually help move us in the right direction and start solving some of these problems.

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