One thing that I have been noticing is that people care less about each one of these Democratic debates than the one before. There just has not been the same amount of price action and liquidity on PredictIt that there used to be, TV viewership is down, and I personally do not feel like the polls are responding that much to them unless a candidate has a total Butt Fumble of a performance like Sen. Kamala Harris did in Detroit; and YouTube Star Beto O’Rourke had in Miami.
One other institution that has stopped caring about the Democratic debates is PredictIt. They are just not offering many markets this time around. Basically, your choices are to bet on RealClearPolitics polling averages post-debate; or to bet on who will speak the most and least debate night. As I have said before, I am 100 percent opposed to betting on RCP Averages. It is truly a more irresponsible use of my money than Christopher Walken’s use of his skull in The Deer Hunter.
But I am moderately interested in this market:
Andrew Yang is the favorite to speak the least. Let’s talk about why.
Andrew Yang — THE FAVORITE — Least Speaking Time.
Yang has spoken the least at every debate. A lot of you probably think this is due to the fact that he is a Chinese person and does not speak English good, but this is actually fake news. Here are the real reason why Yang always gets the least time at these functions:
(1) Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur from New York City and does not have any pre-existing political experience, therefore the Fake News Media (FNM) and DNC don’t even know how to ask him questions given that he has zero record to pick at;
(2) Even for a niche candidate, Yang was truly fringe AF in the first few debates and no one took him seriously other than ex-MAGA and ex-Bernie bros on Reddit. Now Yang is polling in the same range as Sen. Cory Booker and YouTube Star Beto O’Rourke.
(3) Andrew Yang is not a brawler. His persona is that of a sassy nice guy who says stuff like, “Make America Smart Again” and is an above-average dancer.
This means he does not create speaking opportunities by interrupting the big dawgs to throw punches, like a veteran politician would. You no doubt remember how other fringe candidates like Rep. Eric “Massive Loser” Swalwell threw himself on machine gun fire to call Joe Biden too old to be President in the first debate; how Rep. Tulsi Gabbard absolutely hosed Sen. Kamala Harris for imprisoning people who smoke pot;
And when Julian Castro bombed Beto O’Rouke back into the Stone Age for being a fake news Hispanic in DNC pre-season week 1. All of these created unscripted opportunities for these candidates to talk while Yang hung back, played nice, and reminded voters occasionally that he wants to give them $1000 a month and legal pot.
Here are the only reasons why Andrew Yang might not finish last in speaking time tonight:
(1) He is improving as a candidate across the board. Andrew Yang’s first debate performance was almost Beto O’Rourke-level bad. He stumbled, stuttered, and was less memorable than Jaws 4. But he has since grown his following from the 0-1 percent range to 3-4 percent. I credit him for getting more comfortable and learning his market, his core competencies, and his use cases, which I think is how an entrepreneur says, “getting his sh*t together.”
However, my read is that Yang has gotten more comfortable being himself and not really changed his tactics. The bro still wears no tie and I have see no evidence that he is becoming more aggressive and is more likely to fight for more time. But there is this–
(2) Now that Yang has a legitimate following, the moderators will have to take him more seriously and give him more time. But then again, these moderators like to call on candidates who have actual voting records because that is way easier to source material from. The Fake News Media is definitely not going to poke around shareholder meetings or business prospectuses written by Yang’s companies because that would be too hard and it would be very difficult for them to find any proof there that he is pro-racism and/or pro-raising middle class taxes, which are the only things anyone talks about anymore.
At the end of the day, all the fundamentals support Andrew Yang being this debate’s biggest loser on game clock. But it feels expensive to pay 2X the premium on other candidates for him to do this, especially when you consider how big of losers some of the other people in the field are. More on that in our next post.