12 February 2020 04:39
Democrat Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur who created a buzz for his United States presidential campaign by championing a universal basic income that would give every US adult $1,000 per month, and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet both suspended their 2020 bids Tuesday just as results from the New Hampshire primary began to trickle in. "Our signature proposal, universal basic income, has become part of the mainstream conversation," Yang told cheering supporters as he bowed out. But, he added: "I am the math guy, and it is clear to me from the numbers that we are not going to win this race." The 45-year-old Yang was one of the breakout stars of the Democratic primary race, building a following that started largely online but expanded to give him enough donors and polling numbers to qualify for the first six debates. He outlasted senators and governors and after initially self-funding his campaign, he raised more money than most of his rivals, bringing in more than $16m in the final quarter of last year. It was a bigger haul than all but the top four candidates: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Yang grew his outsider candidacy by campaigning as a non-politician, someone who mixed unconventional campaign events - from bowling to axe throwing - with serious talk about the millions of jobs lost to automation and artificial intelligence and the dark outlook for American jobs and communities. The graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School gave campaign speeches full of statistics and studies that often resembled an economics seminar. His supporters, known as the Yang Gang, donned blue hats and pins with the word MATH - short for his slogan Make America Think Harder. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet speaks during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Feb. 2, 2020. [File: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo] Yang promoted his signature issue of universal basic income, which he dubbed the "freedom dividend", by announcing during a debate that he would choose individuals to receive the monthly $1,000 checks.