Sanders support ticks up among college students following heart attack


A new weekly poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) remains the top choice among college students, despite being hospitalized last week due to a heart attack.

According to a Chegg-College Pulse poll released on Thursday, 31 percent of Democratic voters attending college or university support Sanders, a 2-point increase from August and a one-point increase from the week prior to his heart attack. 

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) placed second with 28 percent support, while entrepreneur Andrew Yang held onto third place for the third consecutive week in a row with 10 percent support.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who remains the front-runner in most national polls, followed with 9 percent support. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), meanwhile, rounded put the top five with 6 percentage support.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) were the only other Democratic candidates to poll at least three percent or greater.

The latest results came as Sanders puts his campaign on hold to recover from a heart attack. Sanders was released last Friday after undergoing a heart operation. 

Even though all campaign events have been cancelled, the Sanders campaign maintained that he will still participate in the Oct. 15 debate. Sanders himself has downplayed concerns about his health, vowing to get “get back into the groove of a very vigorous campaign.”

Sanders’s hospitalization has renewed attention on the issue of health and age in the 2020 Democratic primary. Sanders, 78, is the oldest Democratic candidate in race, consistently polling among the top three in the field.

Immediately following Sanders’s heart attack, some news outlets — including the New York Times—published reports questioning Sanders’s electability in light of his health scare.

But College Pulse CEO Terren Klein told Hill.TV on Thursday that questions over Sanders’s candidacy isn’t a top concern among college voters to begin with. 

“This is the only age group that prioritizes issue importance over electability,” Klein said. “So college students aren’t looking for any one type of candidate in terms of personal background.”

Chegg polled more than 1,500 college students nationwide from Oct. 8-9. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn

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