What paths are available to Yang to win the nomination?
Mr. Yang is in the nomination campaign stage where he is trying to win delegates to the Democratic national convention. As a little-known candidate, Mr. Yang will need a spring board into the national spotlight, similar to the tact that Jimmy Carter applied in 1976, by winning one of the early primaries or caucuses: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina. Waiting until Super Tuesday in March will be too late because along with the spring board of the early caucus or primary wins comes the financial support that is in search of a winner.
It is all about the delegates.
What is Mr. Yang’s game plan in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina?
Mr. Yang’s primary and caucus focus appears to be Iowa and New Hampshire. Since March 2018, Mr. Yang has visited Iowa at least 29 times and New Hampshire 34 times. He is following the standard playbook as inspired by Jimmy Carter during the 1976 election where an early win in Iowa and New Hampshire propelled the unknown former Georgia governor into the national consciousness and later the Oval Office.
What should be of concern to traders and investors in the political markets is Mr. Yang’s relative non-appearance in South Carolina. To date, Mr. Yang has been to South Carolina three times since March 2018. South Carolina is an important state because of its large bloc of African American voters. In addition, South Carolina gets to set the tone for the subsequent Super Tuesday primaries. It appears that, for whatever resource constraint, at least at this point on the nomination campaign, Mr. Yang is delaying efforts to secure a large bloc of voters in South Carolina for a distribution of delegates in two smaller states.
Is Mr. Yang discussing policies that resonate with voters?
Mr. Yang has made universal basic income a centerpiece of his economic policy. For example, he has established an Iowa Freedom Dividend which provides an Iowan in need with $1,000 a month. The rationale behind the Dividend is to demonstrate how cash transfers can make an economic difference to voters under financial stress; where their value may be reduced to zero as a result of a hardship.
Mr. Yang argues further in support for his freedom dividend that just as Alaskans receive dividends from oil drilling proceeds, Americans can receive dividends from tech firms that drill for information
While Mr. Yang has only been in South Carolina so few times, he believes, as he relayed in an interview to the staff of The Root, that his universal basic income plan or freedom dividend, would go toward resolving certain issues impacting blacks specifically.
While Mr. Yang gets more into the weeds with his policy proposals, he still has to battle the name recognition of front runners such as Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. I am not ready to say that he cannot make further head way against elected officials with name recognition. The political prediction markets have him ahead of Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and a share on a “yes” vote for Mr. Yang is only two pennies shy of that of South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. This tells me that either Mr. Yang’s sales pitch is as potent as the next candidate or that the tech entrepreneur is exercising internet savvy in getting his narrative out to voters.
As of 8:01 pm EST this evening, PredictIt has a “yes” vote for Mr. Yang selling at $.12.