Sanders aide says heart attack 'personalized' health issues for voters

David Sirota, advisor and speechwriter to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (I-Vt.), believes that the heart attack that Sanders suffered in early October has helped "personalize" the Senator's proposed Medicare for All plan."

"At one level he's been pushing the same agenda and the same message with the same values for 40 years," Sirota said in an interview Wednesday.

"At another level, I think that the heart attack, it personalized in some ways the message that he's fighting for."

One way or another, Sanders has surged in the polls since he returned to the campaign trail after heart surgery.

A recent CNN/UNH poll shows that the longtime Vermont Senator has ahead of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Mass.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign cancels fundraiser with Mueller prosecutor Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE in New Hampshire. In the poll, Sanders came in at 21 percent, Warren followed with 18 percent and Biden rounded out the top three with 15 percent.


"After the heart attack there was a lot of talk that Bernie Sanders was done, it's over, the campaign is finished," Sirota noted.

"I think Time Magazine wrote, that we've have some of the best, if not the best, three weeks of the entire campaign," he continued. "And I think that's felt in Iowa, it's felt in New Hampshire."

In addition to the favorable polling numbers in the Granite State, the Sanders campaign has also upped its game in Iowa, releasing a digital ad that features Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

Ocasio-Cortez formally announced her endorsement of Sanders at a campaign rally in her home district of the Bronx on Oct. 19.

"We should have a society that guarantees 21st century human economic rights," the progressive firebrand says in the ad.

"What makes Senator Sanders very different is that his aspiration is our aspiration. That's the kind of leadership that I think we need right now."