MANCHESTER, N.H. – Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang often points out that he is no stranger to New Hampshire from his time as a high school student here. Still, he sought to accumulate even more familiarity with the Granite State with a series of stops on New Year’s Eve, including one at Stark Brewing Company on North Commercial Street.
Former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, shortly after warming up the crowd, announced that Yang had raised $4 million over the past week, putting the campaign past its $12.5 million fourth-quarter fundraising goal.
During the event, he shared his concerns over the rise of automation and its impact on American jobs as well as the inability of established politicians to address how automation and other trends have changed the nation’s economy.
Chris Carey traveled two-and-a-half hours from Western Massachusetts to hear Yang speak, the second Yang event he has attended during the primary season. In recent months, Carey had also seen other candidates as he slowly gauged which candidate he would support, but he has decided on Yang and felt validated by the scene in Manchester.
“The energy here is spectacular. I’ve been to rallies for other candidates in rooms that are triple the size with half the energy,” he said. “I think that the Yang Gang and those represent him with all of the passion they bring and the truth of the message is really what makes this an impressive movement and separates him as a candidate.”
The event also drew what Marchand described as “Yang-Curious” voters such as Jennifer Day of Concord.
Day had only seen Yang on television in the past, but had seen Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders recently.
In 2016, Day voted for Sanders in the Primary and then Hillary Clinton in the General Election and expects to support the Democratic Candidate in 2020, regardless of who it is.
Right now, she puts Yang among the finalists for her vote, but isn’t sure what he could do to solidify that vote. Still, she likes what she heard in person.
“I like how he’s not a career politician and he understands that the middle class is slowly becoming the lower class and the top one percent isn’t paying their fair share of taxes,” she said.
Following the event, Yang was buoyed by the fundraising numbers and expects continuing momentum throughout the spring.
He also expects to participate in the January Democratic National Committee debate despite the fact that the DNC raised poll thresholds again in late December and its unclear how many qualifying polls will be held before the debate’s Jan. 10 deadline.
“I was surprised the DNC decided elevate this threshold,” he said. “But if they are going to elevate this threshold, there need to be polls to indicate support in early states like New Hampshire to show were campaigns like mine have been spending their time and resources.”