Andrew Yang has been a complete surprise in the polls. Most people didn’t think the entrepreneur with self-deprecating Asian jokes would make it very far. Many assumed he wouldn’t make it past the first debate. However, he’s been climbing in the polls and qualifying for every DNC debate even when Senators and governors can’t figure out how to do it.
Yang is appealing to some of the anti-establishment voters who are fans of Sanders – and now Bernie Sanders has every right to be more than a little worried.
Yang recently hired the 2016 ad firm that Ernie Sanders had used. This is a major coup for the presidential candidate who has been raising more than a few eyebrows throughout political circles.
The entrepreneur chooses to stand out from the other candidates – which includes refusing to wear a tie to the debates. According to a recent Ipsos poll, approximately 57% of Yang’s potential supporters are considering Bernie Sanders. Of course, the mutual interest is a two-way street – 16% of potential Sanders voters are eyeing Yang.
There are quite a few differences between Sanders and Yang. However, they both take an anti-establishment approach by speaking to those Americans who are tired of dealing with the status quo. They are wary of some of the Democratic insiders and need some kind of economic help.
Sanders is happy to have Andrew Yang around right now, assuming that he will get the voters currently voting for Yang if and when Yang drops out of the race.
However, there’s something that Bernie Sanders may not have realized until recently. If Yang continues polling in the high single digits, it can shave off several percentage points from Sanders – and this could be the difference of finishing second or third place for the DNC bid.
Both Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang have a similar message – the country is in crisis and I can help.
Sanders split with his ad company, Devine, Mulvey, and Longabaugh earlier this year. Since then, the ad company has been in talks with a few presidential campaigns. They ultimately chose to work with Yang because of the candidate having the “most progressive ideas.” Longabaugh explains that Yang is looking to transform the economy that focuses on people as opposed to corporate profits. Further, many candidates come across as angry and negative while Andrew displays optimism.
There’s another reason Sanders and Yang are sharing voters right now. While many people look at the Democratic primary and identify voters as moderate and progressive, there is also a lien of “anti-establishment” voters – and those are the ones that Yang and Sanders are both focusing on.
Bernie Sanders isn’t used to having this kind of competition. In 2016, he was the sole progressive. Now, he shares the title of progressive with Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard. He also isn’t the only anti-establishment contender – and he needs to be worried about Andrew Yang’s rise in the polls.
Sanders is currently taking the approach of reminding candidates that he has been fighting the establishment for decades. He has been fighting for Medicare for All for 30 years. He has helped to transform politics in America. While that certainly provides a decades-long record for him, it also reminds Americans of his age.
Andrew Yang is 44 years old while Bernie Sanders is 78. A 34 year age difference is significant – and if voters feel that they can get the anti-establishment candidate that they need without taking a chance on someone who is significantly older, this is where Yang could make a significant jump in the polls. Sanders may have the experience but his time to become president passed several years ago. Now, it might be time for the entrepreneur and philanthropist to make a rise as the new progressive.
Even as both Yang and Sanders battle it out and prove that they are anti-establishment candidates who can push against the status quo, neither of them are strong enough in the polls to get the DNC nod. The DNC and the rest of the Democratic Party know that neither of them would have the ability to go up against Trump.
However, if Yang is capable of pulling a few votes off of Sanders, it will remind Sanders that he needs to stay out of the presidential campaigns. By the time the 2024 elections come around, Bernie Sanders will be 82. At that point, he should realize that he will never become the president of the United States and simply focus on enjoying his retirement.