Can a 78 year old Bernie Sanders keep his campaign going after a heart attack?
Will his supporters stay with him?
The campaign has blasted the press with policy announcements and attempted to pivot the health scare to a message about his signature Medicare for All policy. His campaign is going forward with a $1.3 million TV ad buy in Iowa, the crucial early voting state that will kick off the Democratic primary contest in February.
Sanders cleared his previously frenetic campaign schedule after a heart attack on Oct. 1 at a time when his candidacy has already been eclipsed by fellow liberal Elizabeth Warren’s ascent as a chief contender to early front-runner Joe Biden, who is 76.
At 78, Sanders is the oldest of the 19 Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump, 73, in the November 2020 election.
“That question starts to creep into people’s minds in terms of, ‘Is this guy going to be around for eight years after the election?’” said Bret Nilles, Democratic chair of Iowa’s Linn County.
Sanders, who has been recovering at his home in Burlington, Vermont, since his heart attack, will hold a “Bernie’s Back” rally at Queensbridge Park in New York on Oct. 19, his first rally in nearly three weeks.
On Tuesday, he will appear alongside 11 other Democratic candidates who qualified for the fourth primary debate in Ohio, when voters in Iowa will be watching Sanders’ performance closely, Nilles said.
A raft of TV ads – postponed for several days when Sanders was hospitalized – began airing on Oct. 8 in Iowa, at a cost of $1.3 million, underscoring the campaign’s spending power after raising more cash than any other candidate in the third quarter….