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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

Yang , an entrepreneur and 2020 caucus candidate, holds a town hall on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at Franklin Junior High in Des Moines. Read more: - 2020 candidate Andrew Yang wants to give an Iowan ,000 over the next year to demonstrate the value of his policy plans (https

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.

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, all eyes are on Iowa. Get updates of all things Iowa politics delivered to your inbox.

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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"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

Yes, even Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would get $1,000 under Andrew Yang's plan .
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