Andrew Yang has spent more days campaigning in New Hampshire than any other Democratic presidential candidate. Next week, Yang will shift his travel time to Iowa, for a five-day bus tour here.
Yang, a New York businessman, gave his first speech in Iowa at the 2018 State Fair, talking about a new way to measure economic growth and a thousand-dollars-a-month universal basic income check from the government. He calls it “The Freedom Dividend.”
“We need the opposite of trickle down economics,” he said in 2018. “We need trickle up economics.”
Last December, the crowd at Progress Iowa’s annual Holiday Party cheered the concept.
“In Alaska, they call it the ‘oil check’ and they love it and we’re going to call this the ‘tech check’ and you’re going to love it,” Yang said.
Yang argues a universal basic income is necessary during an economic transition, as more and more Americans lose their jobs to technology. As a first time political candidate, Yang ranked sixth among more than 20 candidates in October in terms of fundraising.
“Hello, Yang Gang. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you,” Yang said in a video posted on Twitter on November 30. “We raised $2 million in a week and half an hour,” Yang said, laughing.
Yang recently asked his supporters to do at least one hour of volunteer work in their communities. Michael French joined other Yang supporters and delivered meals in a Des Moines neighborhood.
“We are a humanity first campaign,” French said, “and that’s really what we’re focusing on.”
And French, who works at an insurance company, is regularly volunteering to talk with potential Caucus-goers about Yang’s campaign.
“The biggest thing that I run into is: ‘Who is Yang?’ French said. “And it’s just always so great to hear their reactions when we get an opportunity to talk to them.”
Yang has 13 campaign offices around the state. Over the past two weeks, Yang has spent more money on TV advertising in Iowa than any other candidate according to the Boston Globe. Last Friday, Yang told Radio Iowa he’s trying to wake people up who might not otherwise vote because they’re disillusioned.
“Big changes are overdue,” Yang said.
Next week, Yang will appear at public events in Des Moines, Grinnell, Burlington, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Ames, Waterloo, Dubuque, and Iowa City.