The hits keep coming for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the disgraced former chair of the Democratic National Committee, as new polling released on Sunday found that her once-longshot challenger Tim Canova is swiftly closing the gap in the primary race for her House seat.
According to FloridaPolitics.com, the survey released by the Canova campaign found Wasserman Schultz leading her opponent 46 percent to 38 percent in Florida's 23rd Congressional District. However, after the pollsters provided more information about the outsider candidate—who has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders—to likely voters, Wasserman Schultz's lead plummeted to just three points, 43 percent to 40 percent.
What's more, the survey found that 35 percent of district voters regard her unfavorably, which represents "a staggering decline from her popularity in past campaigns," the pollsters noted. For Canova, the numbers show that he has a "real chance to win" in the August 30th Democratic primary.
The survey of 400 random voters in Florida's 23rd district was conducted late last week, amid the Democratic National Convention and in the immediate aftermath of Wasserman Schultz's resignation as party chair following the damning WikiLeaks revelations that the Democratic party actively worked to undermine Sanders' bid for the nomination.
Wasserman Schultz, a longtime friend and ally of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, was accused throughout the primary campaign of tipping the scales in her favor.
Amid the scandal, Canova—a professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, who has campaigned on a progressive platform that includes opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Wasserman Schultz supports—reportedly raised $125,000 in just two days.
"There's no doubt our campaign is resonating," he told Real Clear Politics. "We're getting our message out there. Meanwhile, what is she doing with her name? She's got great name recognition and all she's managed to do is sully her name in the last few weeks."