The Iowa caucuses didn't deliver the results Andrew Yang's team had hoped for—as of Thursday afternoon, with 97% of precincts reporting, he'd earned 1% of the state's delegates, per CNN—and now that team is apparently much smaller. Four ex-staffers tell Politico they're among the dozens fired across the country, including senior-level workers like the national policy chief and the national political director. A campaign rep disputes the ranking of the latter two, claiming they weren't senior level because they "were not good enough." Yang's campaign manager, meanwhile, paints the news as non-news. "This was the plan all along," Zach Graumann tells Business Insider, adding in a later statement that as "part of our original plans following the Iowa caucuses, we are winding down our Iowa operations and restructuring to compete as the New Hampshire primary approaches."
But the former staffers who talked to Politico say they didn't expect a staffing overhaul to happen until after the New Hampshire primary next week, and that the firings were somewhat chaotic: Some say they simply didn't get future assignments or found out they were fired only when their email and Slack accounts stopped working. The ex-workers who talked to Politico say they got at least one month's worth of severance and still believe in Yang's mission to get to the Oval Office, despite the circumstances of their firing and what they say was a disorganized culture with managers lacking political experience. "I, wholistically, had a fantastic experience," one says. "Andrew, taking it this far and continuing as far as he can, is incredibly inspiring to me." Another adds: "The organization was a mess, but it still managed to do incredible things while being an absolutely f---ing disaster." (Read more Andrew Yang stories.)