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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ How Bernie Sanders' heart attack changes the 2020 race

How Bernie Sanders' heart attack changes the 2020 race



Sanders is the obvious focus of the matter, after two stents were placed in an artery after the Nevada campaign – and he was forced to withdraw from a CNN sponsorship commission for LGBT California later this week.

But he is not the only candidate in the Democratic field who is affected by Sanders' heart attack in the race. While Sanders, 78, is the oldest candidate in the competition, former Vice President Joe Biden is 76, and Massachusetts Senate Elizabeth Warren is 70. If one of them is elected president next November, he would be the oldest person ever -something elected the first term as president. The man whose record they would have broken? Donald Trump, who won in 201

6, 70 years.

Given that the three leaders of the Democratic Club are Septigenarians, the question of age / health has been low since the beginning. But if Biden, Warren, and Sanders adhere to schedules that will deplete this 43-year-old in about a day, there can be little to worry about.

That has changed now – fundamentally. Although Sanders and his campaign (and its supporters) are quick to downplay how serious (or not) this heart attack was for Sen. Vermont, it's hard to get away from this fact: Sanders, a 78-year-old man, had a heart attack that needed surgery. While there are many and many who have this exact experience, most of them do not run for president. And no one denies that being president – or even running for it – is extremely hard work.

Sanders, Biden and Warren were previously required to release their medical records to the Iowa Caucus on February 3, 2020. "What about health, man?" Biden joked last month when he was asked to release his medical card. "Do you want to fight?"
The timetable for these disclosures – yes, for all three candidates – is likely to accelerate now. True, Sanders is one who has an actual medical problem, but a focus on health and age means that Biden and Warren should consider that they will also receive more questions about these campaigning subjects. (It's worth noting: Trump barely published medical records during his 2016 campaign; in his physical 2019, a presidential doctor called him "generally very good health.")

Which is exciting – and potentially difficult for all three candidates are what the public seems to have a decidedly mixed feeling about senior candidates running for president.

In a poll in May's Pugh Research Center, only 3% of Democrats said they would be the ideal candidate for 70 years. About 47% said the candidate was the best in his 50s. On the other hand, more than 6 in 10 people told Gallup in May that they would vote for a 70-year-old presidential candidate, which is more of a bloc than saying they would vote for an atheist to be president. (A higher percentage – 71% – said they would vote for a candidate under 40 years of age.)

There is also some element of uncertainty in polling on such a sensitive topic as age. Do people pull up punches when talking to a complete stranger in a poll, how many ages do their voices matter? Do they really care more than they ever let in the poll?

This is a question that we do not know the answer to. Moreover, some of these decisions and opinions may well be based on specific candidates and how they appear to be aging. After all, we know that 76 people of one man are not 76, and Bruce Springsteen is 70 and it looks like he is about 50!

One thing we can say for sure is that something changed in the race after Sanders' heart attack. The burden of proof has now shifted directly to Sanders and, to a lesser extent, to Biden and Warren.

The trio now have to find ways to solve the problem of voters than their opponents, who need to find a non-standard way of asking age. Which is a subtle but important shift – especially since it is very difficult to ask if the candidates are too old without serious consequences. (See Julian Castro's failures on this front in the third presidential debate.)

Sanders is expected to appear at the fourth debate sponsored by CNN and The New York Times next Tuesday in Ohio. He – like Biden and Warren – must expect to have at least one age / health / medical discharge question. And you can be sure that voters will pay very close attention to how they respond.


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