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Andrew Yang: The 'Asian math guy' trying to be next US president

The success of Andrew Yang has been one of the unexpected sub-plots of the 2020 presidential race. And his fan base is surely one of the most devoted.

What’s the opposite of Donald Trump?

The answer, says 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, is himself - "an Asian guy who's good at math".

With a $1,000-a-month universal basic income proposal, a pessimistic outlook of economic havoc and a self-deprecating humour, Yang has mounted a surprising surge.

Politically unknown when he started the campaign, he now enjoys a devoted internet following known as the "Yang Gang" and the honorable title of "meme king" among the Democratic presidential candidates.

The 44-year-old tech entrepreneur centres his campaign on "Freedom Dividend", a proposal to provide every American over the age of 18 $1,000 every month with no strings attached.

Yang warns that automation and artificial intelligence could take away nearly half of American jobs in the next three decades, and he believes that universal basic income can help ease the pain and solve various social problems. His ambitious plan may sound too good to be true, drawing laughs from his fellow candidates on the debate stage, but Yang says that he has "looked at the numbers".

His support in national polls hovers around 3%, which places him behind the top tier of candidates but above vastly experienced senators like Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.

Yang is fulfilling his "Make America Think Harder" campaign slogan by stoking a national conversation about the threat artificial intelligence poses to American jobs.

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