Democrat Andrew Yang on Tuesday ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for president.
“I am the math guy, and it is clear to me from the numbers that we are not going to win this race,” Yang said in front of a crowd as votes in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary were being counted.
“This is not an easy decision or something I made lightly with the team. Endings are hard,” Yang added. “I have been persuaded that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by (me) staying in the race any longer.”
Yang promoted his signature issue of universal basic income, which he dubbed the “freedom dividend,” by announcing during a debate that he would choose individuals to receive the monthly $1,000 checks. The statement prompted questions about whether he was trying to buy votes, but also generated a buzz online and helped the campaign build a list of possible supporters.
His poll numbers were high enough, combined with his fundraising strength, to qualify for him for all of the 2019 debates, though he fell short of Democratic National Committee’s qualifications to participate in the January debate in Iowa. He was, however, one of seven candidates who participated in Friday’s debate in New Hampshire.
Yang said he would support whoever wins the Democratic nomination to take on Trump in November, while continuing to push his own message.
“This is just the starting line. This campaign has awakened something fundamental in this country and ourselves,” he told supporters in New Hampshire on Tuesday night.
On the trail, Yang warned that automation would hit major industries like retail, customer service and trucking. He also noted that technology companies were paying almost no taxes despite profiting from people’s personal data, and vowed to impose new taxes on tech giants to finance his “freedom dividend.”
He had long pointed to New Hampshire as a natural place for him to succeed given its large proportion of independent voters. But the results on Tuesday and last week in Iowa made it unlikely he could raise enough money to continue campaigning.
Reuters contributed to this report.