36ºF

Andrew Yang qualifies for December presidential debate

CHICAGO, IL – Businessman Andrew Yang qualified Tuesday to participate in next week's Democratic presidential debate, making him the seventh candidate to make the stage in Los Angeles.

The 44-year-old entrepreneur received 4% in a national poll by Quinnipiac University, meeting the polling threshold set by the Democratic National Committee.

The DNC won't officially say which candidates have qualified until after a Thursday night deadline. But those who have met the DNC's polling and fundraising requirements for the Dec. 19 debate are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessman Tom Steyer.

Yang is the only non-white candidate to qualify for the debate so far. Sen. Kamala Harris, who is black, had met the requirements but dropped out of the 2020 race last week, making it possible that only white candidates would be on the stage.

Yang has been slowly gaining support in recent weeks, and topped several of his rivals when he brought in $10 million for his campaign in the third quarter — an amount he says he's on pace to top in the last three months of this year.

His signature policy is to provide a universal basic income of $1,000 to every adult — money he says will help Americans adapt to an economy that is rapidly becoming automated. At a debate earlier this fall he announced his campaign would begin providing the so-called “freedom dividends” to 10 people, drawing criticism from some that he was trying to buy votes.

Yang is currently on a five-day bus tour of Iowa, the state that will kick off voting for the Democratic primary in February.

___

Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed from Washington.