Bernie Sanders stands to benefit most from Andrew Yang dropping out, with 69% of the businessman's supporters also liking the senator

Bernie Sanders Andrew YangAP Photo/John Bazemore

Sen. Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic primary frontrunner following his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, and is set to benefit more than any other candidate from entrepreneur Andrew Yang dropping out of the race. 

After building a grassroots movement and experiencing a meteoric rise on the national scene, Yang suffered a humbling defeat in the Iowa caucuses, earning just 1% support in the second caucus alignment and receiving zero pledged delegates out of state.

In New Hampshire, where he had staked his campaign hopes, Yang came in a disappointing eighth place, earning just 2.8% of the vote in New Hampshire with 92% of precincts reporting. 

"While there is work left to be done, you know I am the math guy and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race," Yang said Tuesday as he suspended his campaign. "I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win."

For the last several months, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience poll to track the state of the 2020 Democratic primary field and determine how if a given candidate were to drop out of the race, who that candidate's supporters would flock to next.

Over the course of four polls conducted between late December and early February, Insider surveyed 3,387 Democratic primary voters for their views on the rapidly-shifting state of the race. 

Of the 792 respondents who would have been satisfied with Yang as the nominee, 69% would also be satisfied with Sanders as the nominee.

Other candidates are vying for this support as well: 64% would be satisfied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 51% would be satisfied with former vice president Joe Biden, and 47% satisfied with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg

 

Andrew Yang Feb 11Business Insider

It isn't too surprising that Sanders and Warren enjoy the most support among Yang's backers. All three candidates have crystal-clear campaign messages that advocate for sweeping, systemic changes to the American market economy to place more economic and political power in the hands of the middle and working class. 

Worth highlighting here is the strong levels of dissatisfaction for candidates like Tulsi Gabbard, who has openly lobbied for his support, and Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire. That 31% of Yang fans would be unsatisfied in the event of a Biden nomination speaks to the idea he may not be as big a winner from Yang's exit as the 52% of Yang supporters who like him may suggest.

Beyond the Freedom Dividend, Yang also advocates for other progressive policies and expansive social programs including a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system, free community college, and nationwide marijuana legalization.

Like many of his supporters, Yang also admires Sanders, tweeting, "Happy Birthday to Bernie Sanders! He has moved our country in the right direction and he's not done yet," on Sanders' 78th birthday in September. 

And when Yang dropped out, he got a public shoutout from the prominent congresswoman and Sanders surrogate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who praised him for running "a great race." 

In his 2016 presidential run, Sanders championed many of the progressive policies and expansive social programs Yang also advocates for, including a single-payer Medicare for All healthcare system.

Unlike Sanders, neither Warren nor Yang identify as Democratic socialists or advocate for total state control of certain industries.

Both believe in market capitalism, but are arguing for major reforms of the American market economy as it exists to put more power in the hands of everyday workers.

"This is not socialism, this is capitalism where income doesn't start at zero," Yang told CBS of his universal basic income plan in March. "If you think about where Americans are going to spend this money, they're going to spend it at their local businesses, their main street economy."

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