Andrew Yang Announces His Campaign Will Give 10 People $1,000 Per Month For a Year During Democratic Debate

2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang announced his campaign will give a "freedom dividend" of $1,000 per month to ten Americans during the Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, on Thursday evening.

"When you donate money into a presidential campaign, what happens? Politicians spend the money on TV ads and consultants and you hope it works out. It's time to trust ourselves more than our politicians, that's why I'm going to do something unprecedented tonight," Yang said during his opening statement, before revealing the Universal Basic Income (UBI) test.

"My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of one thousand dollars a month for an entire year to ten American families," he said. "Someone watching at home right now. If you believe that you can solve your own problems better than any politician, go to and tell us how one thousand dollars a month will help you do just that."

"This is how we will get our country working for us again, the American people," the former entrepreneur added.

Yang's signature policy is a UBI of $1,000 per month for every citizen.

All ten qualifying Democratic candidates took the stage together on Thursday for the third Democratic primary debate. It was the first time Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren has shared the debate stage. The pair last faced off in 2005, when they butted heads in a Senate hearing room.

The candidates were joined by Yang, Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, as well as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke and former housing secretary Julián Castro.

In the days leading up to the debate, a senior campaign manager for Yang told several news organizations that the candidate will be doing "something" on the stage that "no presidential candidate" has ever pulled before. The Yang staffer did not offer any further information.

Hours before the event began, Yang teased the surprise on Twitter. "What could #YangsDebateSurprise be? You'll have to wait and see! #DemDebate #TonightAt8 #YangGang," the entrepreneur tweeted, alongside a short video teasing the "big" reveal.

According to a new Hill-HarrisX poll, released on Wednesday, Harris and Yang have ticked up in the Democratic race, with seven and five percent respectively. The survey of 454 Democratic and Independent registered voters, taken between September 7-8, also showed the three top-tier candidates — Biden, Sanders and Warren — dipping by between 2-3 percent each, with 27, 15 and 12 percent respectively.

Although Yang is still a long shot candidate, the former entrepreneur has been rising in the polls in recent months and has outlasted several established political figures, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Various recent polls have now placed Yang in the second tier of candidates, which also includes Harris and Buttigieg.

The latest Emerson College poll of New Hampshire, released on Tuesday, showed President Donald Trump trailing Yang by eight points in a theoretical match up in the state. In the hypothetical 2020 head-to-head, the former tech executive garnered 54 percent of votes, with Trump on 46. Biden was the only other candidate that fared better against Trump than Yang among the Democrats. The former vice president garnered 55 percent in a head to head in New Hampshire against Trump, who fell behind by 10 points with 45 percent.

The fourth Democratic primary debate will be held in Ohio on October 15 and 16.

Andrew Yang
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during a forum on gun safety at the Iowa Events Center on August 10, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. Stephen Maturen/Getty