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Politics Andrew Yang talks about his path forward in Iowa and beyond at Drake University town hall

12:41  14 january  2020
12:41  14 january  2020 Source:   desmoinesregister.com

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2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks to voters at a town hall at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa . DONATE TO ANDREW YANG

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When Andrew Yang took the stage in front of a crowd of over 700 people at the Olmsted Center at Drake University in Des Moines on Monday, he wasn't just greeted with cheers — the crowd sang him "happy birthday."

DES MOINES, IOWA - JANUARY 13: Democratic presidential candidate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks to guests during a campaign stop on his 45th birthday at Drake University on January 13, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Yang will not participate in the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate taking place tomorrow at the university. The Iowa caucuses will take place on February 3, making it the first nominating contest for the Democratic Party in choosing their presidential candidate to face Donald Trump in the general election.© Scott Olson/Getty Images DES MOINES, IOWA - JANUARY 13: Democratic presidential candidate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang speaks to guests during a campaign stop on his 45th birthday at Drake University on January 13, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Yang will not participate in the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate taking place tomorrow at the university. The Iowa caucuses will take place on February 3, making it the first nominating contest for the Democratic Party in choosing their presidential candidate to face Donald Trump in the general election.

"Best birthday party ever," Yang said before starting his campaign speech.

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Andrew Yang spent the evening of his 45th birthday talking to Iowans just a few buildings away from where six of his fellow presidential candidates will be participating in the Des Moines Register/CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday.

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While the Democratic presidential candidate did not make the DNC polling threshold to make the debate stage, he was still campaigning in Iowa on Monday and Tuesday.

Phong Ly, a 21-year-old Drake University student, said he was disheartened to hear Yang hadn't made the debate stage, especially because he was one of the few remaining people of color in the Democratic presidential field.

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"I wish the diversity of the Democratic party was reflected on the debate stage tomorrow," Ly said. "But it's still so inspiring to see his campaign still focusing on Iowa ... and there are so many people here who obviously still see him as someone worth spending their time on."

The California entrepreneur has steadily gained recognition and support in Iowa since he announced his presidential run: In every Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll since March 2019, Yang has steadily risen in the poll by 1%, each poll, and jumped 2% between November and January — the California entrepreneur was at 5% in the latest Iowa Poll.

However, he still lags behind U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden, all of whom find double-digit support among likely Democratic caucusgoers asked about their first-choice candidate. But Yang said he's still optimistic about his chances.

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Andrew Yang says "Yangmentum" is surging in key states like New Hampshire and Iowa . In order to compete with the likes of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, Yang says he's visited New Hampshire and Iowa 17 times each, kicking off his ground game much earlier than some of his top-tier competitors.

"Iowans are still making up their minds," Yang said. "That's not just me saying that, the numbers clearly show it. So we're poised to grow and grow here. We're going to be far past 5% by the time of the caucuses."

In the January Iowa Poll, 40% of likely Democratic caucusgoers said their mind is made up about which candidate they plan to support on caucus night; 45% say they could still be persuaded to support someone else, and 13% have not picked a favorite candidate.

Madeline Chiller, a 23-year-old Drake University employee, said she was considering Yang and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — and after attending Monday's event, she was "definitely" a Yang supporter.

"I want someone who's not a career politician and someone who's really speaking to the issues at hand," Chiller said. "He's really the one I see doing that the most effectively."

Robin Opsahl covers political trends for the Register. Reach them at ropsahl@registermedia.com or 515-284-8051. Support reporters who follow your government by becoming a subscriber. Sign up at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Andrew Yang talks about his path forward in Iowa and beyond at Drake University town hall

CNN cancels Democratic presidential town halls because of impeachment trial .
CNN has canceled the Democratic presidential town halls scheduled to take place next week ahead of the Iowa caucuses because of the ongoing impeachment trial, a CNN spokesperson said Thursday. The network is working on rescheduling the town halls, the spokesperson said. CNN was scheduled to host the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination at live, back-to-back town halls on January 28 and 29 from the campus of Drake University. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang and businessman Tom Steyer were scheduled to appear on Tuesday.

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