On Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang celebrated an important milestone in his campaign: meeting the polling threshold to qualify for the fall debates.
Now the Democratic National Committee is attempting to keep him out, citing a technicality on polling qualifications, which requires candidates to garner at least 2 percent support in at least four different polls and prove 130,000 donors to take the debate stage Sept. 12 and 13.
Yang has the donors, and on Monday celebrated the fourth poll putting him above 2 percent support.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) July 29, 2019
“We did it #YangGang!” Yang posted to Twitter. “As of today, we are officially the 8th candidate to qualify for the fall debates. We are in this for the long haul. Thank you all for your support.”
The post featured a short clip of a Yang cartoon dancing, surrounded by the logos for the four qualifying polls, from NBC/Wall Street Journal, Quinnipiac University Poll, Fox News, and NBC/SurveyMonkey.
Shortly after the post, DNC senior advisor Mary Beth Cahill emailed the candidates to inform them only one of the two NBC sponsored polls could be used to qualify, effectively sidelining the Yang Gang for now, The Hill reports.
Cahill wrote “candidates may only count one NBC-sponsored national poll released during the current qualification period,” alleging the reason is “to avoid scenarios in which a single poll sponsor or media outlet is responsible for qualifying a candidate through multiple sets of results in the same geography.”
According to Heavy.com, the actual rules state:
Each poll must be sponsored by an approved organization, which presently includes the following: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmounth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University.
Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas. …
For the September debate, each poll must be publicly released between June 28, 2019, and August 28, 2019.
Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann, pledged to press on “well into 2020” despite the DNC’s attempt to block the successful Asian entrepreneur best known for his proposal to give all Americans a $1,000 universal basic income.
By DNC rules, WSJ, NBC, Fox, and Quin. are approved orgs, so Yang has qualified for the fall debates. We disagree with the DNC decision & are disappointed. Our campaign has overcome every obstacle placed in our path and we will continue to upset the establishment well into 2020.
— Zach Graumann (@Zach_Graumann) July 30, 2019
“By DNC rules, WSJ, NBC, Fox, and Quin. Are approved orgs, so Yang has qualified for the fall debates,” Graumann posted to Twitter. “We disagree with the DNC decision & are disappointed. Our campaign has overcome every obstacle placed in our path and we will continue to upset the establishment well into 2020.”
It’s not the first time Yang has accused Democrat insiders of conspiring against his campaign.
Yang complained that his microphone was muted or turned down during the first Democratic debate and videos posted by his supporters online seem to back the claim.
— Massachusetts for Yang 2020 (@Yang2020Mass) June 28, 2019
Marianne Williamson, the other non-politician in the race, also made the exact same complaint. The first debate was hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo. NBC has denied the allegations, despite damning video evidence posted to Twitter and YouTube.
Regardless, Yang’s supporters have no doubt he’ll eventually qualify for the third debates with upcoming polls, and his sixth place standing in Real Clear Politics’ polling average suggests they’re probably right.
Others who have already qualified include former vice president Joe Biden, Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, failed Texas senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor for South Bend, Indiana.