Andrew Yang leads Progress Florida straw poll thanks to support from ‘Yang Gang’

Andrew Yang
"We’ve seen Yang supporters orchestrating an online effort to drive votes for their candidate."

An online straw poll conducted by Progress Florida has former tech executive Andrew Yang leading the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Yang is on top with 28 percent support, followed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 22 percent.

Trailing those two are U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 16 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden at 13 percent and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent.

Online surveys may not be the best indicators of future performance, as they can be susceptible to supporters of one individual or cause spamming the results.

That’s exactly what Yang’s supporters, known as the “Yang Gang,” have done in an effort to show love for their candidate of choice.

Mark Ferrulo, director of Progress Florida, said Yang trailed some of the more well-known candidates up until Monday.

“After five days of voting, our straw poll had Warren, Sanders and Biden as the top vote-getters,” Ferrulo said.

“However, in the last 24 hours, we’ve seen Yang supporters orchestrating an online effort to drive votes for their candidate which has vaulted him to the front. It will be interesting to see if other candidates’ supporters launch a similar push.”

The signature issue of Yang’s campaign has been his push for a universal basic income — or, as he calls it, a “freedom dividend.” The idea would be to grant Americans $1,000 per month, regardless of their income status.

Yang argues those payments will be needed as the American economy transitions toward more automation. Guaranteeing Americans $12,000 would help reduce economic anxiety as more workers lose their jobs, Yang says.

The money would replace traditional welfare programs, such as food stamps. That means tax dollars which now go toward those programs would instead be shifted to help give Americans a blanket $1,000 per month. By granting the dividend to all Americans, poor families don’t have to worry about failing to qualify for the money in the event they begin generating more income on their own.

Some programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security would continue to be paid out in addition to the dividend. Yang says a 10 percent value-added tax would pay for the added cost of program.

While the idea sounds revolutionary to some, it’s actually been discussed and studied for decades. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fan. Experiments in the U.S. and other countries have shown good and bad results, though there are few high-quality studies to go by.

And in 2016, Switzerland voters actually decided on a referendum to create a UBI program in that nation. The vote failed, however, earning only 23 percent support.

Studies typically do show a slight dip in workforce participation. How rampant that would be in a national program remains to be seen. And, of course, the idea has a snowball’s chance of passing in a Congress where Republicans have any say on the matter. Democrats would need 60 votes in the Senate to even attempt to push the proposal forward.

Yang is polling in the low single-digits both nationally and in Florida. But he said late last month he has qualified for the third and fourth Democratic debates. The Democratic National Committee has not yet officially announced the field.

Those looking to vote in the Progress Florida survey can click here, though you’ll be required to submit your contact information to Progress Florida before voting. Once your vote is cast, you can view the most current results of the survey. Voting ends on Aug. 13.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


23 comments

  • Matthew

    August 7, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Your poll has been Yang Banged.

    We will do the same at the voting booth.

  • Mr. YangGang

    August 7, 2019 at 2:34 am

    #YangGang trickle up!!!

    • Kevin C

      August 7, 2019 at 5:44 am

      Yang Gang represents voice, reasoning, solutions to all American’s problems. We could whine and bitch about everything like all politicians do including current president or we could actually put $1000/mo into all Americans’ hands to create a trickle up economy to free everyone. Yang2020 all the way to the White House baby!! 👍👊🍻🤑

  • Florida Man

    August 7, 2019 at 2:40 am

    Florida Man for yang 2020

  • David

    August 7, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Look up Andrew Yang’s Joe Rogan interview on youtube! Yang2020!

  • Kevin C

    August 7, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Yang Gang represents voice, reasoning, solutions to all American’s problems. We could whine and bitch about everything like all politicians do including current president or we could actually put $1000/mo into all Americans’hand to create a struggle up economy to free everyone. Yang2020 all the way to the White House baby!! 👍👊🍻🤑

  • Austin Mann

    August 7, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I was definitely one of those Floridians contacted within the 24 hour window to support Yang. I will vote for him in every relevant poll I can! #HumanityFirst

  • Jason McCoy

    August 7, 2019 at 6:57 am

    As a YangGang member and for the love of being honest, you may want to consider editing your article! Yang unfortunately has not qualified yet, and while you are misinformed, us YangGang members do not support the spread of misinformation.

  • Douglas Brown

    August 7, 2019 at 7:53 am

    32804 zip here for Andrew Yang, his UBI plan will put $13,434,000 into our local community every month! #yanggang #orlando

  • Bob

    August 7, 2019 at 9:04 am

    ‘Online surveys may not be the best indicators of future performance, as they can be susceptible to supporters of one individual or cause spamming the results.

    That’s exactly what Yang’s supporters, known as the “Yang Gang,” have done in an effort to show love for their candidate of choice.’

    What you call spamming we call grassroots support.

    Yang2020

  • JM

    August 7, 2019 at 9:37 am

    The author writes about the Yang Gang action to get the word about the straw poll like that was wrong…only Florida voters could participate, and now these Florida voters have been heard! Yay democracy! I wish my state (Pennsylvania) had a straw poll so I and other Yang supporters could show our support for this intelligent, unifying candidate who appeals to voters who identify as Democrat, Libertarian, progressive, conservative, last supported Trump, last supported Bernie. Maybe Yang winning straw polls might help mainstream media pay him some attention. Yang2020!

  • CS

    August 7, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Liberty lovers love taxing the corporate tech sector to distribute to everyone willing to give up their government benefits (not a penny is taken from the poor with Yang’s plan). So the trouble isn’t getting it past the Republicans, but both Republicans and Democrats who are in the pocket of the corporate tech sector.

    Libertarian Yang supporter here.

  • Jason McCoy

    August 7, 2019 at 11:07 am

    I see you updated your article with more misleading information. Should I fix it for you?

    Andrew Yang announced qualifying for the September and October debates late last month then announced the very next day that the DNC rejected one of his polls. He is currently waiting to hit his 4th poll which his campaign believes will happen this week.

    As a journalist I’m disappointed in you half baked journalism lacking real research and follow through.

  • Shaaron Evans

    August 7, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    His program does NOT replace traditional welfare benefits! Stop with the damn fear mongering already! What in the hell is wrong with you people spreading misinformation as if you’ve heard him say it or seen it in print. This is what YOU and the establishment want is to abolish welfare benefits. Yang is offering options! You can keep your current benefits or opt in with UBI. Seniors on social security get the UBI on top of benefit. I am 60 years old and even I know this, why don’t you? You will not stop this movement!!!

    • Jason McCoy

      August 8, 2019 at 2:50 am

      There’s so much wrong with this article. I’ve seen High School seniors write a much more informed article backed by real research than this guy Ryan Nicol. I’ve sent him emails about his misinformation, yet he’s such a horrible journalist that he refuses to make corrections with real facts. I hope his bosses read this and realize what a poor journalist he is and make him correct his article!

  • ANT

    August 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Whos to say theirs a huge Yang Gang in Florida? Maybe they’re all in Tallahassee. Tallassee YANG GANG!!

  • Chris

    August 7, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    He has stated he’ll implement the freedom dividend with an executive order on day one, why is the article talking about congress? This author should actually educate himself on the person he’s doing an article about.

    Yang has the policies we need badly.

  • Jake Tabor

    August 7, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    #yanggang here voting from West Palm Beach. If elected my town would see an investment of $19,306,000 EVERY month. It would totally change the town and the families that live here.

  • Tom

    August 7, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Hey man why do you try and kneecap his candidacy with your article. Research the Freedom Dividend and Yangs 100+ other policy proposals. This is who the people want! No repeat of Bernie 2016.

  • Robert Mendoza

    August 7, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    You have to understand and accept that the YangGang is largely online and are people who generally DO NOT ANSWER THEIR PHONES when an unfamiliar number calls, and so are vastly under-represented in traditional polling. There are genuine humans behind every online vote for Yang.

    The kind of person that is still compelled to answer every time their phone rings is, to put it mildly, a breed of person that is fading into obsolescence and is no longer representative of the population at large.

  • Justin Noel

    August 7, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you for not calling us trolls like other sites have done just because we don’t support the traditional candidates. Andrew Yang has a genuine, diverse, and loyal following who are truly inspired by his campaign. This is quality reporting.

  • parth

    August 10, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Hi Supporters of Andrew Yang and those in the #YangGang.
    We cannot be stuck in a bubble, we have to convert this momentum into real life action.
    We can support with our money and time, time via phone banking at https://mobilize.us/yang2020/

Comments are closed.


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