Andrew Yang Raises $16.5 Million In Fourth Quarter

Andrew Yang had an impressive fourth quarter when it comes to fundraising, but it appears unlikely to help his campaign at all.

The campaign of businessman Andrew Yang, who has managed to hang on in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination despite the fact that his poll numbers remain fairly disappointing announced yesterday that it had raised more than $16 million in the final quarter of 2019:

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced he raised $16.5 million in the last quarter of 2019, a total that’s expected to put him toward the upper half of the Democratic field.

His campaign said Thursday he has a cumulative 400,000 donors, with more than 1 million contributions. The campaign said his average donation was $30. The $16.5 million total marked Yang’s strongest fundraising quarter to date.

“At every turn in this race, Andrew Yang continues to exceed expectations whether it’s in terms of grassroots fundraising, making the debates, early state polling, or the ability to draw big crowds,” Nick Ryan, his campaign chief, said in a statement. “What we have achieved together to date through the humanity first values of this campaign, now sets us up to compete through the early-state primaries, Super Tuesday, and beyond.”

The Yang campaign did not say how much cash it has on hand. His previous best quarter was just under $10 million during the third quarter of 2019.

His team also said he raised $1.3 million on New Year’s Eve, the single best fundraising day of his campaign. His previous single-day record was $750,000, set on Nov. 30.

Yang’s fundraising haul will likely be toward the top of the pack, trailing just the four candidates who have led in polling either nationally or in the early states: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Yang, who remains a relatively unknown candidate, has managed to make a name for himself largely due to his principal campaign plank of providing every American with a universal basic income of $1,000 per month, a program that he touts as being designed to help alleviate income inequality. He also made a name for himself at the third debate by announcing a contest to give ten families that same income, presumably from campaign funds, a move which may or may not be legal. Beyond that, Yang comes across as a fairly standard Democrat in that he reflects at least some of the ideas of the progressive wing of the party while not fully swinging over to that side.

Despite all of this press and his fundraising success, Yang has only seen mild success in the polls so far. At the national level, he has managed to fight his way up from the crowd of candidates getting less than 1% support to the point where he is averaging 3.4% in national polling according to RealClearPolitics, a number that places him ahead of Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Tulsi Gabbard among other candidates. At the state level, Yang still has a way to go to make an impact. He’s averaged 2.3% in Iowa4.7% in New Hampshire3.0% in Nevada, but at only 2.0% in South Carolina. Of all the early states, the one where he is currently performing the best is California, where he’s averaging 4.6% according to RealClearPolitics. While some of these numbers are improvements over where he stood three months ago, they still are not very impressive. Additionally, as things stand right now, Yang’s polling numbers are not good enough to get him into the next debate on January 14th. He has until January 10th to qualify, but if he doesn’t that’s likely to mean that these fundraising numbers are meaningless.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. de stijl says:

    Decent haul.

    Perhaps he will rise. Hint, he won’t. Out the day after NH primary.

    A shame. I like decent, policy driven wonkish dudes / dudettes. We need more.

    Flood the run-up with Yangs’ and one might catch on.

    I am torn. Caucuses are a month away. Buttigieg or Warren? Is there someone else I should be paying attention to? I’m very open.

    Who can win? Who is best? How to gauge that dynamic.

    I know I’m overthinking it. One person with one paltry vote, but it matters.

    Civilization exists because of civic mindedness.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Warren just came in at 21 million. Less than last quarter. Not good for her.

    OTOH, the good news is that Democratic money is a fire hose. Collectively they far out-raised the incumbent president.

  3. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    OTOH, the good news is that Democratic money is a fire hose. Collectively they far out-raised the incumbent president.

    I just made that point in the Bernie thread. Dems outraised the President by almost 3X.

  4. Teve says:

    GOP brought in like 46 million in Q4, Democrats brought in 131 million, I read at Kevin drum’s place.

  5. de stijl says:


    I like Drum. He has a good take usually.

    Plus, cat Friday’s. All to the positive.

  6. de stijl says:

    Yang is a good, underprepared candidate. There is a lot to like about him.

    Arguably, the same could have been said about Obama who was clearly the best President I’ve experienced by far. Coming in, he would deemed a grasping neophyte with eyes above his station.

    And dude clearly rocked hard once he won.

    You have to give to the down poll candidates a solid look. Yeah, some might be running to flog book sales, but most are civic minded.

    Yang’s universal income policy is likely too out there to be the thing that makes him catch on. Likely, the reverse. America is not ready yet for that.

    Or so says the person who thought America was not ready for a black President and was proven entirely wrong.

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I’m not so sure UBI is an automatic loser as an idea. Bernie’s socialism is too far, and Warren keeps pulling trillions out of the air and that puts people off. But I think there’s a broad consensus that we have way too much concentrated wealth and need some way to turn that around. In effect, of course, it would be a transfer from middle and upper middle class taxpayers to the poor and working poor unless we simultaneously raise taxes on the rich. If Yang made clear that he would raise the marginal rates back to Obama levels, then institute UBI, I think he’d have an easier sell.

  8. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Too many people are focusing on UBI as a solution but ignoring the problem that necesitates proposals like UBI. Specifically, the growing capacity for non-human production of goods and services. With the result of leaving people unemployed and unproductive. And more important, unneeded and unwanted. It is not too far into the future that idleness will be a major sociological issue to be grappled with. As you know, this has been predicted in SF for decades now and may come within our lifetimes. Even mine, and I’m 65.

  9. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    FWIW, on the Freakonomics podcast last year, Yang claimed the idea of UBI tested well across the board when named “Freedom Dividend.”


    Specifically, the growing capacity for non-human production of goods and services. With the result of leaving people unemployed and unproductive.

    That’s a big part of the problem. Another part is the notion of maximizing shareholder value at the expense of everything else, most emphatically including labor costs.