- A new Insider poll found Democratic voters’ confidence in Andrew Yang‘s debate performance has doubled since the last debate.
- By proportion, that’s the most significant boost out of all the 2020 contenders between July’s pre-debate polling and now.
- Yang and his campaign have expressed frustration with the way his candidacy has been treated by the political and media establishment.
- Most Americans polled still don’t know who Yang is, but his name recognition is rising quickly, especially among Democrats.
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Entrepreneur Andrew Yang may not be a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential race, or even close, but Americans’ expectations of him are rising fast.
According to a new Insider poll, confidence in Yang’s debate performance has doubled among both self-reported Democratic voters and the general population. The poll asked over a thousand American adults to select up to three candidates they think will perform best at Thursday’s Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC. More than one in ten respondents chose Yang.
The number – 15.2% to be exact – may not be as large as his more established rivals, but it’s nearly double the 7.7% of respondents who had confidence in Yang prior to the last debates in July, indicating that Yang is capturing viewers and winning them over. No other Democratic candidate saw their expectations increase quite like Yang.
Part of this could owe to the fact that candidates like Yang have much to gain from the debates, while frontrunners such as former Vice President Joe Biden who are ill-suited for the format have only to lose.
Among Democrats, confidence in Yang more than doubled from 6.7% to 13.7%. Proportionally speaking, it’s the most significant boost any candidate has received through the course of our debate polling.
Each time, we asked respondents to select up to a quarter of candidates who they thought world perform well.
Previously, they were able to select up to five out of 20; this round, they were able to select up to three out of ten. Setting aside Biden, who has seen expectations erode precipitously, most other candidates are still where they were back in June when it comes to expectations.
Yang, whose campaign is largely predicated on his Freedom Dividend – a universal basic income program that would provide $1,000 per month to every adult in America – has expressed frustration with the way his candidacy has been treated by the establishment, accusing NBC of cutting his mic off during the first debates in June.
The hiccup didn’t go unnoticed by viewers: Out of nine complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and obtained by Insider following the debates, two called out Yang’s mic issues. Later, his campaign said CNN ran a graphic that excluded Yang in favor of lower-polling rivals.
Despite ardent support from his base, most Americans polled by Insider have never heard of Yang.
While his name recognition has steadily increased through the course of Insider’s polling, only 37% of respondents had heard of him in our most recent poll. That number is higher for Democratic voters, 52% of whom say they’ve heard of Yang. But even among Democrats, he’s less well known than some contenders who are polling behind him, such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
Yang has a long, uphill battle to wage – but if he continues to build momentum, he could become a candidate to watch.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. Total 1,090 respondents collected September 6 to September 7, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.07 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.