Andrew Yang's Campaign Says He Raised More Than $16 Million In 4th Quarter

Yang’s ascendance comes as other candidates of color have struggled to gain traction in the increasingly white field of top Democratic presidential contenders.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign gained significant traction in the fourth quarter of 2019, raising $16.5 million from October to December, his campaign said Thursday.

That included bringing in more than $4 million in the last week of December alone, and reaching 1 million individual donations and a total of 400,000 donors.

The total is a substantial gain from the third quarter, when Yang’s campaign said he raised $10 million, and nearly 6 times the $2.8 million he reported in the second quarter of 2019.

Though Yang’s fundraising haul was a significant increase from previous quarters, he still trails the top-tier candidates.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign said Wednesday that he raised $24.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

During that same period, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised over $34.5 million from 1.8 million donations, his campaign said Thursday, which will likely be the highest amount among the top-polling candidates.

Other candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden, have not yet released their fourth-quarter fundraising totals and have until Jan. 31 to do so.

Yang’s ascendance comes as other candidates of color have struggled to gain traction in the Democratic presidential race, where the field of top contenders has gotten increasingly white. He was the only candidate of color to qualify for the December debate, and has yet to qualify for this month’s debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

The entrepreneur has gained more followers and increased his national profile in recent months, drawing in voters with his nonpolitical background and a signature campaign plan to give every U.S. citizen 18 years or older a “universal basic income” of $1,000 a month.

Yang has also been candid about his obstacles as an Asian American candidate. Earlier this year, he faced criticism from Asian Americans for frequently telling self-deprecating jokes perpetuating persistent stereotypes against Asian people, undermining the significance of his historic presence on the presidential debate stage. The conflict illustrated the bind in which candidates of color are placed: having to figure out how to best represent their underrepresented group, while trying to make white voters feel comfortable with their presence — with few prior models to follow.