Andrew Yang delivered a message of math and free money during a rally at the Lincoln Memorial to a largely young, male crowd yearning for an outsider candidate with well-developed policy ideas.

Yang, who is fairly young for a presidential candidate at 44, took the stage enthusiastically yelling “Yang Gang! Yes, yes, holy crap!” to an audience of over 500 people he called his “early adopters” before he goes “mainstream.”

The New York entrepreneur delivered a roughly 20-minute speech centered on his signature policy, a universal basic income he’s branded as “The Freedom Dividend,” which would give every U.S. adult $1,000 a month with no strings attached.

Yang rolled out a new nickname for his proposal at the rally, calling it the “tech check," which is part of a trillion-dollar income plan funded by a value-added tax on technology companies such as Amazon and Uber.

Interspersed among his numerous policy proposals, Yang delivered the phrases “Make America Think Harder” and, “I looked at the numbers” followed by a criticism of current federal government policy as supporters cheered and waved signs that said “Math” and “Yang Gang.”

As someone with no political experience, Yang is not shy using his outsider label to his advantage, calling D.C. a “town of followers, not leaders.” Yang’s criticism of Washington played well with his base who agreed an outsider is needed to fix the country’s problems.

Andrew Yang Crowd
A crowd waiting for Andrew Yang to speak. (John Gage/Washington Examiner)

Kylie Wickstrom, a 19-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University, said she supports Yang because of his universal basic income proposal and his willingness to raise teachers' pay. Wickstrom said Yang was her first choice but she is also intrigued by both South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a common finding among Yang’s support base.

Of the 20 people the Washington Examiner interviewed at the rally, 15 said they see Buttigieg as their second choice, many praising his well-spoken demeanor.

Jonathan Long, 53, one of the few supporters past their 20s and grasping a bullhorn in which he shouted, “Vote Andrew Yang," said he supported President Trump in 2016 and will vote for him again if the Democratic Party does not vote in an outsider this time.

Sanders, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were mentioned by a few other attendees as back-up choices. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads most polls despite not having joined the race, was rejected by most who see him as being too much of an establishment figure.

Yang’s supporters pegged his call for a universal basic income as one of the main reasons they plan on voting for him. Like Fred August, 25, several of the attendees cited his website with its list of almost 100 lengthy policy proposals as one of the reasons they will be supporting him.

For the most part, they found out about Yang within the last month either through social media, the "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, or were tipped off by a friend.

Although many of Yang's policies seek to expand the size of the federal government, some of the loudest cheers of the evening came when Yang invoked the name of free market economist Milton Friedman in support of a universal basic income.

Yang’s campaign has been gaining momentum recently, posting fundraising numbers of almost $2 million for the first quarter. Emerson released a poll on Monday showing Yang at 3%, a bump from the 1% he had been polling in most surveys so far.

Yang’s fundraising performance means he’s qualified for at least the first two presidential primary debates this summer, and some campaign experts are starting to take him seriously. If the momentum continues, Yang's electoral math could just add up.