Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suffered a heart attack earlier this month. As a result, his campaign has been scrambling ever since to "reassure" voters that the 78-year-old Vermont Senator — the oldest candidate from either party in the 2020 presidential election race — remains "a viable presidential pick," Reuters reported on Monday.
According to a new poll of voters in three of the first four states that will cast ballots in the Democratic race, the campaign's effort is not working — at least not in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. According to the survey by Firehouse Strategies, Sanders has dropped to fourth place in the Democratic field among voters in Iowa and a distant third in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
"Sanders, who has consistently been a top tier candidate in our polling, dropped to 4th place with only 5% of the vote," said a statement by the polling firm.
The company added that the new poll was conducted four days after the campaign revealed the Sanders had, indeed, suffered a heart attack. As The Inquisitr reported, the campaign initially delayed the revelation for three days after the second-time candidate was hospitalized for "chest discomfort."
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has surged and now leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, while she places second in South Carolina.
After initially appearing to say that, after the heart attack, he would scale back his campaign schedule, Sanders quickly reversed course and said that he would continue to run "a very vigorous campaign," as quoted by Bloomberg News. Sanders added, however that he planned to restart his campaign slowly then "build up and build up and build up."
Yet, according to the new poll, Sanders could easily find himself in a deep hole early on the campaign. In Iowa, scheduled to hold the first voting event of the 2020 campaign with a caucus on February 3, Sanders received only 5 percent support. That puts him 12 points behind the third-place candidate, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Warren leads in the Iowa poll with 25 percent, edging former Vice President Joe Biden by three points. But in New Hampshire, Warren at 25 percent leads Biden by eight points, with Sanders well behind at just nine percent.
The New Hampshire results appear especially devastating for Sanders. In 2016, Sanders won the state — which neighbors his home state of Vermont — over eventual nominee Hillary Clinton with more than 60 percent of the vote, 22 points more than Clinton.
In South Carolina, according to the Firehouse survey, Biden remains strong at 32 percent, twice Warren's share — and four times better than the eight percent garnered by Sanders.