This week, Bernie Sanders found out he is the new frontrunner in the Democratic primary field.
Unfortunately, at least for Sanders, he also found out that a majority of Americans are very concerned about an elderly candidate who has had a very recent heart attack.
Health problems are an obvious concern for voters when it comes to a presidential election. This was very clear in 2016 when Hillary Clinton was running, as her support took a hit when she had her “episodes” during the election season.
When The New York Times reported that Sanders had a heart attack at a rally event in Nevada last October, it shook his entire campaign.
At the time, his numbers took a small dip, and even though he is now the frontrunner, people are still clearly concerned about his health.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll indicated that more than 50% of Americans held some concerns about Bernie’s health.
Good news and bad news
First, the good news for Sanders. The NBC/WSJ poll released on Tuesday put Sanders in a commanding lead in the Democratic Party. Sanders came in at 27%, almost lapping former Vice President Joe Biden, who pulled in 15% support.
Even though he holds a 12-point lead, though, he is far from safe, because Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg were right behind Biden with 14%, 14%, and 13% respectively.
If any of those candidates leave the race, the bulk of that support will more than likely go to Biden, just about evening out the race.
The bad news for Bernie, though, is the concern about his health. The poll showed that 57% “had some reservations” or were “very uncomfortable” about voting for someone who had a heart attack in the last 12 months.
So now, the 78-year-old socialist is battling concerns about both his age and his health. Another 53% of voters have “some reservations” or were “very uncomfortable” with voting for someone over the age of 75.
Sanders has avoided significant attacks due to the late entry of the detested Mike Bloomberg, but as he rises in the polls, voters will have a tough choice to make.