Andrew Yang had an idea for how the Democratic National Committee (DNC) can increase diversity at the next presidential debate. But he was shot down!
As you’ll recall, he was the only person of color during the December debate— calling it an “honor and disappointment” at the same time. So far, the only five candidates to have qualified for the first debate of 2020, to take place in Iowa—Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar; Joe Biden, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg—are all white. And Yang hasn’t yet qualified.
In a letter dated Dec. 21 sent to DNC Chair Tom Perez, Yang suggested that the DNC should commission more qualifying polls to increase diversity in the Jan. 14 debate. He wrote that an all-white debate stage was a “troubling prospect” for the DNC that could lead to “unfounded claims of bias and prejudice.” More polls “would provide an accurate snapshot of the current state of the race and where voters’ hearts and minds are.”
Yang’s letter also argued that the lack of polling in more than a month in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina (states where candidates have recently focused their time and resources), will render useless any candidate’s increase or decrease in popularity since the sixth debate on Dec. 19.
In a statement to Newsweek, the DNC stood by its belief the governing body has been “more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls.”
Twitter user Scott Santens wrote, “Latest non-qualifying national poll from Morning Consult has Yang at 5% and outpolling Amy Klobuchar, who will be on the Jan debate stage because the DNC drew the lines around her using old polls. It’s a gerrymandered debate. Can we call it amymandering? #pollthepeople #YangGang.”
Fellow Democrat James Ellars, who is running to represent California’s 8th Congressional District, tweeted in support of Yang, saying the people deserve better.
“DNC hasn’t released any new polls since the December debate, & they require more polls to qualify for the Jan debate. There’s no excuse for corruption #PollThePeople,” he wrote.
Yet another Twitter user noted that (hash)PollThePeople was trending in the United States and worldwide. Countless people on the Twitterverse are urging voters to flood the DNC’s number
(877-336-7200), and to email the DNC chair at Perezt@democrats.org.
In the spirit of wanting to avoid an all white debate on Jan. 14, we support the push to #PollThePeople!