Andrew Yang to suspend 2020 presidential campaign

Andrew Yang went from a "longer than long shot" to standing on stage at the Democratic debates. CNN's Jon Sarlin spoke with Andrew Yang about how a tech founder who has never run for anything managed to make it this far.

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 8:40 PM
Updated: Feb 11, 2020 8:40 PM

Andrew Yang plans to announce he is suspending his presidential campaign during a speech Tuesday night in New Hampshire, two sources tell CNN.

It's the end to an upstart run that vaulted the businessman from obscurity to a Democratic contender backed by a devoted following known as the Yang Gang.

Yang's decision comes a week after a disappointing finish in Iowa, where the campaign invested millions and spent two weeks on a bus tour leading up to the caucuses. The investment didn't pan out: Yang finished with just 1% support in Iowa and, after leaving the state with depleted resources, had to lay off staff as he looked to trim his campaign's costs.

"With a crystal ball, we might not have invested as much energy in Iowa, because I think that that lack of clarity afterwards hurt every candidate," Yang told CNN the day before the New Hampshire primary. "But we're excited about being here in New Hampshire."

But Yang lacked the kind of infrastructure in New Hampshire that he had in Iowa, leading aides to expect another less than stellar finish.

Even days before the primary, top Yang aides were candid about the future of the campaign.

"If we don't show as well in New Hampshire, there will be some reassessment," said a Yang aide, "especially if it ends up being the worst-case scenario."

Yang launched his campaign in 2017 to little fanfare. Even his family, Yang told CNN, asked "president of what" when he told them he had decided to run for the top job. But the businessman, by championing unique policy positions like a universal basic income, wide reaching programs to address automation and the legalization of marijuana, slowly created a devout following of liberal Democrats, libertarians and some disaffected Republicans.

While Yang overperformed what many experts believed he would accomplish in the Democratic primary, his following was unable to propel him beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, defeats that largely thwarted the candidate's rise.

Yang leaves the race, however, with a level of power in Democratic politics that no one would have expected when he entered the contest. Members of the eponymous Yang Gang -- colorfully known as Yangsters -- are devoted to the businessman, meaning Yang's next moves in the primary will be closely watched. And scores of top Democratic operatives, after watching Yang's rise, have said in private that the businessman should have a future role in Democratic politics or a Democratic administration.

Yang's campaign was defined by the candidate's happy go-lucky style -- videos of him singing in a church choir, dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle" and crowd surfing at an events regularly went viral, helping burnish his image as a candidate just happy to be with his fans.

He also often used high profile moment to compliment his opponents. When former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke dropped out and before a Democratic debate where they would have been standing next to each other, Yang simply tweeted, "I miss Beto." After Cory Booker failed to qualify for a debate stage, Yang used yet another debate stage moment to tell voter he thinks, "Cory will be back," a move that was appreciated by Booker and his top campaign aides.

Those moments paid off to Yang, too. The candidate and his team of New York-based operatives -- many of whom had little political experience -- turned those viral moments into a series of impressive fundraising hauls. The candidate raised $2.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, $10 million in the third quarter and $16.5 million in the fourth quarter, a series of impressive hauls that landed him among a number of Democratic heavyweights.

Like other candidates, though, much of that money flowed to Iowa, where Yang spent more than two weeks on a bus tour throughout the state ahead of the caucuses.

That effort made clear that Iowa was critical to Yang. His top aides felt like the candidate -- because he came from nowhere -- needed to prove he could overperform expectations in Iowa or New Hampshire to justify continuing the campaign.

That is why Yang spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads in the closing weeks of the campaign, hoping that success in Iowa -- which some defined as a top-five finish -- would give him credibility in future contests.

That credibility failed to materialize in the first two contests.

Yang -- the son of immigrants from Taiwan who was born in Schenectady, New York, in 1975 -- had no political experience before running for president. He told CNN in October that he lost all three times he ran for student government positions.

But Yang, after a brief stint at a law firm in the early 2000s, became the CEO of a test prep company and then started Venture for America, a non-profit that connects recent college graduates with start-ups. It was that experience that raised Yang's profile in Washington; in 2015, President Barack Obama named Yang an ambassador for global entrepreneurship.

Yang, like many insurgent candidates before him, leaned on non-traditional media to get attention. He became a staple on non-political podcasts, including an almost two-hour long podcast with controversial stand-up comedian and TV personality Joe Rogan, where his campaign says he first gained a national following.

It was clear by the end of Yang's campaign that his rapid rise -- and the sacrifices his family had made to allow him to run for president -- had weighed on the candidate.

Yang choked up days before the Iowa caucuses when he reflected on how far his campaign had come.

"I love Iowa," he said. "Campaigning here for the last two years has been the journey of my life. I am really glad you are going to determine the future of our country."

The comment caused Yang to visibly get emotional and cover his face.

"I was just reflecting on how far the campaign has come," Yang said the day after in Iowa. "The people have been very good to me and my family."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 144309

Reported Deaths: 4615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25977603
Cuyahoga17092642
Hamilton12756308
Montgomery7501152
Lucas7119357
Butler563299
Summit5096249
Marion306347
Mahoning2991279
Warren291048
Stark2739168
Pickaway263344
Lorain226386
Delaware213520
Fairfield202050
Columbiana191980
Licking185762
Trumbull1848131
Clark172338
Wood170671
Clermont162620
Lake157649
Medina143038
Allen136767
Greene135228
Miami135049
Portage107466
Mercer105317
Tuscarawas91220
Wayne90166
Erie89944
Ross85622
Richland78419
Madison78012
Darke76039
Belmont70727
Geauga70347
Hancock6579
Ashtabula64348
Athens5972
Lawrence59418
Shelby5819
Auglaize5659
Sandusky55420
Putnam54123
Huron5237
Union4932
Ottawa46530
Scioto4646
Seneca43914
Preble42013
Holmes3717
Muskingum3712
Jefferson3184
Henry29712
Champaign2933
Logan2933
Perry2859
Defiance28110
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2752
Hardin25013
Morrow2492
Washington24823
Fulton2341
Jackson2314
Coshocton23011
Fayette2256
Ashland2234
Highland2203
Crawford2186
Wyandot20112
Williams1983
Gallia18012
Meigs1729
Hocking1619
Pike1580
Guernsey1567
Carroll1507
Adams1214
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison611
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
41° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 42°
Huntington
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 42°
Decatur
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 39°
Van Wert
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Warming up for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events