Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is returning to New York City for a large rally to mark his return to the campaign trail after suffering a heart attack on Oct. 1.
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The event, dubbed the “Bernie’s Back Rally,” is expected to draw thousands of supporters and highlight the endorsement of progressive New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Two senior sources with the Sanders team told reporters at the close of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate that Ocasio-Cortez would accompany Sanders at the campaign rally.
(MORE: Bernie Sanders’ team says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to endorse his presidential bid)
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Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden enter the stage before the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio.
The rally is being held at Queensbridge Park along the East River in Queens, just miles from Ocasio-Cortez’ district. Ocasio-Cortez served as an organizer for Sander’s 2016 run and the two have introduced bold climate change plans.
Other members of the so-called squad — or liberal freshman congresswomen of color — have been tied to Sanders’ presidential bid. Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar announced her endorsement of Bernie Sanders with a video earlier this week. Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib hasn’t endorsed Sanders, but is slated to tour her district with the senator later this month.
Before Sanders even took the stage, his wife Jane, documentarian Michael Moore, campaign co-chairs San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner addressed supporters.
At one point during the rally, the crowd started chanting, “lock him up,” after Cruz mentioned President Donald Trump.
“You know what, let’s vote him out,” Cruz said in response.
(MORE: Bernie Sanders’ health incident diagnosed as heart attack)
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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) , a US politician elected in 2018 as the youngest ever to have a seat in the House of Representatives, speaks to the thousands of people who participated in the People Climate March.
The rally comes at critical time for the Sanders campaign. Despite raising $25.3 million during the third quarter, national polling data compiled by ABC affiliate FiveThirtyEight shows Sanders backsliding in many of the polls, falling just short of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Results from an Oct. 14 Quinnipiac University poll showed primary voter support for Sanders fell around 11%, compared to Biden’s 27% and Warren’s 30%.
This is Sanders’ first campaign event — aside from the Oct. 15 Democratic debate — since his heart attack in Nevada and it could serve as a means to reinvigorate his campaign.