Andrew Yang is Now the Only Person of Color Left in the 2019 Democratic Debates

Andrew Yang qualified for the Democratic presidential debate in December just before the deadline on Thursday.

The 44-year-old tech entrepreneur, who reportedly received death threats earlier this month, made the cut after earning 4% in the national Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday.

To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) requires candidates to reach at least 4% in four approved polls, which could be national or single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada (aka “Four-Poll Threshold”).

Alternatively, candidates must gain at least 6% in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada (aka “Early State Polling Threshold”).

The DNC also requires candidates to meet a “Grassroots Fundraising Threshold” of at least 200,000 unique donors and a minimum of 800 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.

Yang had long since met the 200,000-unique donor requirement.

Yang is the seventh candidate to qualify for the debate, joining — in alphabetical order — former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire investor Tom Steyer, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

An Asian American of Taiwanese descent, Yang is so far the only person of color to qualify for the debate.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is of Asian, Polynesian, and Caucasian descent, refused to attend the event even if she qualifies.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is of Indian and Jamaican descent, dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month after running out of financial resources.

Yang drew further support after the latest Democratic presidential debate hosted by MSNBC, where he had to wait for 32 minutes before getting the chance to speak for six minutes and 43 seconds, the least amount of time for all 10 candidates present.

“Was asked to appear on MSNBC this weekend — and told them that I’d be happy to after they apologize on-air, discuss and include our campaign consistent with our polling, and allow surrogates from our campaign as they do other candidates’,” Yang wrote. “They think we need them. We don’t.”

The Dec. 19 debate will be co-hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico.

“We are going to do something unprecedented on the debate stage next week, and that is show up as the lone person of color,” Yang told reporters in Iowa, according to Politico. “I’m excited to make the debate stage, not surprised. We’ve been showing consistent growth throughout.”

Meanwhile on Twitter, he told his supporters, the “Yang Gang,” to “settle in because we are going to be here a while.”

There are currently 15 candidates in the Democratic presidential race.

Feature Images via Andrew Yang (left, right)

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com