News and Commentary

DNC Denies Andrew Yang’s Request For More, Better Polling For Future Debates
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 19: Democratic presidential candidate former tech executive Andrew Yang speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Seven candidates out of the crowded field qualified for the 6th and last Democratic presidential primary debate of 2019 hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee is very happy with their system of determining which candidates for the party’s presidential nomination make the debate stage and there’s nothing Andrew Yang can do about it, the DNC says.

According to Fox News, the DNC “shot down” Yang’s request that the party hold several of its own polls ahead of the organization’s final debate in order to correct what Yang believes is a dearth of diversity in both ethnicity and platform.

Yang was the only minority candidate on the DNC’s debate stage in December, and then only because of a last-minute groundswell of support that put him slightly over the top in several national polls. He was also the youngest, by far, and the only Democratic contender to deviate even slightly from two prescribed platform: either “mainstream” or “Establishment,” or far-left and progressive. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) did earn a spot in the debate but ended her presidential campaign just days beforehand.

In a memo leaked last week, Yang pressured DNC leader Tom Perez to commission a series of polls, conducted on behalf of the DNC, in Iowa, in order to get a better read on whom the population there was considering voting for.

“With the upcoming holidays and meager number of polls currently out in the field, a diverse set of candidates might be absent from the stage in Des Moines for reasons out of anyone’s control,” Yang wrote. “This is a troubling prospect for our party. Regardless of the DNC’s best intentions, voters would cry foul and could even make unfounded claims of bias and prejudice.”

The suggestion definitely benefits Yang. Although he made the last debate in California, he’s unlikely to make the January debate — he is just shy of the polling numbers needed to qualify. Only former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg have crossed the threshold.

If the last name — Klobuchar — sounds out of place on that list, it’s because the DNC’s decision over who makes the January debate stage is based on polling taken in early December, and then, only on select polls that meet the DNC’s mysterious qualifications. That puts upstart candidates like Yang, who have relatively little name recognition among voters disconnected from the Internet and who seem to gain traction in short bursts, at a disadvantage; even if he suddenly skyrockets in popularity in Iowa, he’s already missed the “right” window to qualify for the debate.

Yang’s solution was to have DNC-commissioned “temperature checks” of Iowa voters instead, so that the DNC could get a sense of which candidates Iowa voters actually want to see go head-to-head.

“Hence, I propose a simple solution: between now and January 10, the DNC should commission four early state qualifying polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, where all the candidates have invested their time, resources and staff. It would provide an accurate snapshot of the current state of the race and where voters’ hearts and minds are, thus getting ahead of an imminent problem,” Yang wrote.

The DNC, on Monday, told Fox News that there is absolutely no way they’ll take Yang up on his offer.

“The DNC has been more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls, including 26 polls for the December debate, more than half of which were state polls,” they told the news outlet.

“The DNC will not sponsor its own debate qualifying polls of presidential candidates during a primary. This would break with the long standing practice of both parties using independent polling for debate qualification, and it would be an inappropriate use of DNC resources that should be directed at beating Donald Trump,” they added.

In fairness to the DNC, they may not be dismissing Yang out of hand so much as dismissing the cost. The DNC has just around $9 million cash on hand, and fundraising has been slow to non-existent. The Republican National Committee, by contrast, has more than $60 million cash on hand.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  DNC Denies Andrew Yang’s Request For More, Better Polling For Future Debates