Elizabeth Warren Vs. Andrew Yang

Personal Characteristics

Elizabeth Warren does a good job balancing issues and personality. Her father was a working man and the breadwinner. He was laid off and after losing the family car, her mother took a low wage job at Sears to keep the families head above water. She enrolled in a public law school at 24 and spent the next 30 years teaching at various colleges, including Harvard. Her main running point is to end corruption in washington. Supplementary material includes: “strengthen our democracy”, “rebuild the middle class” and “equal justice under the law”. Her appeal is for the working class who have been hit harder by economic fluctuations, automation of work, and a special lustor for minority groups through the third key issue mentioned.

Andrew Yang is the son of two immigrant parents, went to Columbia Law school, and has been apart of 3 startup businesses. One of the companies focused on access to education and became the largest private provider in the country and was awarded for its prowess by the Obama administration. A key principle difference between the two is that because of Andrew Yang’s low name recognition, he has to rely on issues to drive his candidacy (See “Presentation of self”). He has virtue as an immigrant, but also as a businessman. His website focuses on his accomplishments as a businessman and not so much on his life as an immigrant. Although as mentioned before, his appeal is principally issue driven so it is intuitive for his website to be credentialistic. His campaign is centered on “Universal basic income for every American”.

Presentation of Self

Elizabeth Warren straddles between an “A” and “B” approach. The front page of her website has the issues mentioned in the previous section cycle on and off of the page. This aims to promote herself as a “do-er” and not just a talker. The issues are consolidated into 3 or 4 word phrases and builds a sense of approachability to them. While the front page is definitely more of a “B” candidate, she has a whole page dedicated to her story –“Meet Elizabeth Warren”. This is where her straddle comes in. The page projects her humanity by explicating her youth, struggle through school, familial life and her various career accomplishments. This kind of presentation aligns itself more with an“A” candidate. This page focuses on showing Mrs. Warren’s personality and thus is made to build a base for more interpersonal interaction. Her webpage outline, content, and visual information construe a populous appeal to the middle class, and minority groups (specifically African Americans, who are mentioned by name under the “Equal Protection…” tab)

Andrew Yang aligns mostly with the described candidate “B” from Fenno’s study. Due to his low name recognition, he has to drive his recognizability through his position on issues and or personal accomplishments. Like all of the other candidates, he has a part of his page that is centered around his life and how he grew up. The part labeled “Andrews Background”, is almost entirely achievement based. This is congruent to his identity as a type “B” candidate. His success comes from his position on issues and not his ability to connect directly with voters. In terms of support within the Democratic coalition, his appeal is almost directly from low skilled waged workers. He, like the majority of the democratic candidates, have adopted some of Bernie Sanders’s more serious policies (ex. medicare for all).

Media Coverage

Andrew Yang is popular among the democratic voter base. He surpassed Elizabeth Warren when he announced his candidacy. He is running as a democratic parallel to Trump. He is a businessman and is trying to capitalize on the same alleged economic grievance that helped Trump in 2016. (Questionable method according to Identity Crisis). His main running point, Universal Basic income, is actually very unpopular and runs counter to his projected identity as a hard working businessman.

Elizabeth Warren’s main issue is popularity and trustworthiness. There is a wide perception of her as a lifelong politician. She is having a hard time connecting with younger voters, and her policies are often received as echos of other candidates. She is not far left enough to compete with Bernie Sanders, her identity as a woman won’t give her enough to get ahead, that is evidenced by the 2016 election with Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris would win in terms of intersectionality above Warren anyway.



Blake, Aaron. “Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 Chances, Broken Down.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 Dec. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/31/elizabeth-warrens-chances-broken-down/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bb9b17f79a58.

Marinoff, Nick. “Democrat Andrew Yang: Different Appeal, Same Stupid Ideas.” CCN, 28 Mar. 2019, www.ccn.com/democrat-andrew-yang-different-appeal-same-stupid-ideas.

Shao, Yiqing. “Why Is Elizabeth Warren So Hard to Love?” Boston Magazine, Boston Magazine, 31 Mar. 2017, www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2017/04/02/elizabeth-warren-tough-love/.


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