Andrew Yang lays off staffers after poor showing in Iowa

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang let go of dozens of campaign staffers on Thursday in the wake of a lackluster finish by the tech entrepreneur in Iowa.

According to nearly complete results from the Iowa Democratic Party that were delayed due to a reporting debacle, Yang has just 1 percent of state delegates from Monday’s caucuses, which kicked off the presidential nominating calendar.

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Yang campaign manager Zach Graumann emphasized that “as part of our original plans following the Iowa caucuses, we are winding down our Iowa operations and restructuring to compete as the New Hampshire primary approaches.”

“These actions are a natural evolution of the campaign post-Iowa, same as other campaigns have undertaken, and Andrew Yang is going to keep fighting for the voices of the more than 400,000 supporters who have donated to the campaign and placed a stake in the future of our country,” Graumann stressed.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks at a campaign event in Plymouth, NH on Feb. 6, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks at a campaign event in Plymouth, NH on Feb. 6, 2020

Among those let go are the campaign's national political director, the deputy national political director, multiple policy staffers and some staffers based in Iowa. The firings were first reported by Politico.

But Yang national press secretary SY Lee insisted that “none of the positions Politico called out were considered senior in our organization.”

A source close to the campaign said the New Hampshire staff is unaffected by this development.

When Yang declared his candidacy two years ago, he was the longest of long shots for the Democratic nomination. But last year, thanks to the popularity of his proposed "Freedom Dividend" – a universal basic income that would pay each adult American $1,000 per month – and his unconventional and energetic approach to campaigning, Yang soared to middle-tier status in the polls. And his fundraising figures surged as well late last year early this year.

But Yang registers at just 4 percent and 2 percent support the latest two poll in New Hampshire, ahead of next Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. But he will be on the stage at Friday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

After failing to qualify for January’s Democratic nomination debate in Iowa, he made the stage for Friday’s primetime showdown in New Hampshire. Yang took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to write, "It sure looks like Bernie won in Iowa. Excited to compete for the win in New Hampshire on Tuesday!"

And Yang seems to be downplaying the results in Iowa, tweeting on Tuesday that "New Hampshire has always been the most natural home for this campaign."