Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is interviewed outside of Hopkinton Town Hall following a campaign event on February 9, 2020 in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.
Scott Eisen | Getty Images
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang dropped out of the 2020 Democratic race after finishing well behind top-tier candidates in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
Later Tuesday, he addressed a crowd of his supporters. “Being your candidate has been the privilege of my life,” Yang said. “Together we will continue to do the work and move this country forward, because the Yang Gang isn’t going anywhere.”
Earlier Tuesday, Yang seemed to hint at his immediate future with a tweet in which he thanked “everyone who got us here.”
Yang began his bid for the Democratic nomination as a fringe candidate, but his signature “Freedom Dividend” policy quickly put him on the map in a crowded field. The plan offered a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to every American over the age of 18.
The entrepreneur was regularly among the top 10 Democratic candidates, according to national polls, outlasting career politicians like California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Fundraising surged in the final quarter of 2019, with the campaign ranking in more than $16.5 million.
During his run, Yang amassed a loyal base of internet-savvy supporters known as the “Yang Gang,” and received endorsements from major celebrities, including actor and rapper Donald Glover and comedian Dave Chappelle.
But the long-shot contender with no political experience was ultimately unable to go the distance.
After a poor showing in the Iowa caucus, the first nominating contest, Yang’s campaign fired dozens of staffers including its national policy and political directors.
On the stump, Yang often presented himself as a stark contrast to President Donald Trump. He called Trump a “phony entrepreneur” and a “bad president” in a July tweet.
“Just because I come from the business world doesn’t mean I have anything else in common with the current POTUS,” he said.
More recently, Yang pointed out that Trump, who frequently blasts his opponents, hasn’t tweeted about him and offered an explanation on why: “He knows I’m better at the internet than he is,” Yang said in an MSNBC interview the day of the Iowa caucus.
Before announcing a run for president, Yang founded Manhattan Prep, a test prep company that became number one in the nation for the GMAT and was bought by Kaplan in 2009.
He later launched Venture for America, a nonprofit meant to help entrepreneurs create startups in cities like Detroit and Pittsburgh that were struggling after the 2008 recession.