The Political Rundown

How age is becoming a concern among candidates

Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta


The biggest news among candidates this past week lies in the report that Bernie Sanders experienced a heart attack. Though he was released from the hospital on Friday and intends to continue with the race, the health scare has brought a new concern to the forefront of voters’ minds. 

This concern has to do with the age of the top candidates. Sanders is the oldest at age 78, followed by Joe Biden at 76, President Donald Trump at 73 and Elizabeth Warren at 70. 

With a health scare this early in the race, there is an inherent concern that the stress of running the country would only deteriorate a person even more, once in office. Just look at pictures of Barack Obama at the beginning of his term, versus the end. The quick onset of grey hair is just one sign of how stress can affect the body.

“Running for president is a physical and emotional trial, and the presidency itself is even more demanding,” said David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, to The New York Times. “While we all wish Senator Sanders well, this has to be a big flashing light for him. And given his age, it may be for some voters, as well.”

Apart from this health scare, Sanders did have some good news this week. Monday marked the end of the third fiscal quarter, meaning candidates have begun to announce their fund-raising totals. 

Sanders is in the lead having raised $25.3 million and is followed by Warren with $24.6 million. While I would expect Biden to be among the top three, it is actually Pete Buttigieg coming in third with $19.1 million and Biden is fourth with $15.2 million. Kamala Harris has raised $11.6 million, Andrew Yang has $10 million and Cory Booker has $5 million, according to The New York Times.

It’s also important to note that Trump’s re-election campaign, combined with the Republican National Committee, has raised $125 million, said The New York Times.

While these numbers don’t have the final say in who is elected, there has been a correlation in past elections between who spends the most on the campaign trail and who gets elected. So it is important to keep these big names in mind as we continue forward.

Speaking of moving forward, the next big event is coming up on Oct. 15 with another democratic debate — and it really is a big one with 12 candidates taking the stage. The debate will include the 10 democrats who were in the last debate, as well as Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, according to The New York Times. 

I’ve saved the most fun news for last, my dear friends. This weekend Saturday Night Live featured a skit on a Democratic debate. Finally, all the stress of following the campaign has paid off in a way I never expected. 

If you’ve been following any of the candidates along the way, you’ll see how fantastic their portrayals were in the skit. Remember, with all the stress that has been building so far this campaign season, it’s good to have a laugh every once in a while. 

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected].