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Yang to feature wife, Evelyn, autistic son in new campaign ad

Tech entrepreneur and Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang will feature his wife, Evelyn, and their young child, who has autism, in a new campaign ad, which will focus on Yang’s health care plan and his universal basic income proposal.

The ad, which is called “Caregiver,” will highlight Yang’s proposal to give everyone $1,000 a month, which he has cast as the most ambitious proposed expansion of Social Security by any of the Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination.

“The work of so many caregivers goes unseen, whether it’s caring for parents, or staying home with young boys, one of whom has special needs,” Evelyn Yang says in the ad. “If my husband Andrew Yang is president, he’ll fight for ‘Medicare for All’ with mental health coverage and for $1,000 a month for every American, including caregivers, because Andrew values what we do, not just for our families, but for our nation.”

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It’s unclear how much money will be behind the ad or where it will run. The campaign announced the ad internally along with a memo from campaign chief Nick Ryan about the state of the race.

Yang has been among the biggest surprises of the 2020 Democratic primary, coming from being a relative unknown to being able to raise tens of millions of dollars.

In the internal memo, Ryan said that so far in the fourth quarter, the campaign has already surpassed its third-quarter fundraising total of $10 million.

Yang hauled in $2 million over the course of a 10-day swing through Iowa this month and an additional $750,000 online from more than 18,000 contributors in the 24 hours following the Los Angeles debate last week.

All told, the campaign has more than 350,000 individual donors who have given an average of $29, blowing past the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) fundraising threshold of 225,000 unique donors needed to qualify for the January debate.

However, Yang will have to make up some ground in the polls to qualify for the next debate and to score a top finish in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, which take place in February.

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To qualify for the Jan. 14 debate, candidates need at least 5 percent support in at least four approved polls that can be either national or based in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. 

Yang has so far only hit the threshold in one poll and he has been hampered in public opinion surveys by many voters not knowing enough about him to have an opinion.

But Ryan said internal polls “point to us being on the cusp of bursting into the top tier of candidates.”

In Iowa and New Hampshire, Ryan said that internal campaign polling revealed that eight out of 10 voters had heard about Yang in the past few weeks.

In Iowa, the campaign’s poll found that Yang’s name ID has risen to 96 percent, up from 53 percent in early September, while his net favorability rating has increased by 34 points, giving him a 47 point net positive favorability rating in the Hawkeye State, according to the internal memo. 

The campaign’s poll found that 9 percent of caucusgoers consider Yang to be their first or second choice, a 4 point jump since mid-November. Fifty-eight percent of likely caucusgoers said they would consider supporting Yang, a 10 point gain over the past month, according to the campaign’s polling.

And in New Hampshire, the campaign said Yang’s net favorability rating has jumped 30 points since mid-September to a net positive of 41 points, with 92 percent of voters saying they’re familiar with the candidate, up from 59 percent in September.

Fifty-one percent of voters in New Hampshire now say they’ll consider voting for Yang, up 19 points since the fall, according to the internal poll.

“What that means, is that as Andrew’s message is communicated to voters, both through paid communications and personal interactions, his personal standing and support continue to grow,” said Ryan. “At a time when other campaigns are faltering, Andrew is well-positioned to move into the top tier of candidates.”

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