Uh Oh: Debbie May Have a Hard Time in Reelection Battle as Money Pours in For Her Opponent

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jul 27, 2016 8:19 AM
Uh Oh: Debbie May Have a Hard Time in Reelection Battle as Money Pours in For Her Opponent

When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down from her position as chair of the DNC after leaked emails showed the scales were tipped in Hillary Clinton’s favor, she said in a written statement that her “first priority has always been serving the people of the 23rd district of Florida and I look forward to continuing to do that as their member of Congress for years to come."

But her reelection campaign this year may not go as smoothly as she’s hoping, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said they will not be spending money to help her in her race, and contributions are pouring in for her opponent, Tim Canova.

Soon after Wasserman Schultz was booed Monday during a Florida delegation breakfast in Philadelphia, Democratic primary foe Tim Canova wrote to his 20,000 Twitter followers, "It's time to end her political career for good," and shared a link to his campaign fundraising webpage. 

The tactic appears to be working. He said he's raised about $100,000 in the 72 hours since the scandal erupted, all without leaving south Florida or picking up a phone to dial for dollars. 

Yet officials with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made clear Monday they have no plans to spend money to save her. Top committee leaders told reporters that they do not spend money on safe Democratic seats, which hers is, because they need to save resources for states they are trying to save or flip. 

While the seat may be safe in the fall from Republicans, that doesn’t mean she’s a lock in the primary.

Back in May Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Canova and even helped him fundraise, noting that “his views are much closer to mine than to Wasserman Schultz's” and that “The political revolution is not just about electing a president.”

Canova, as one can imagine, seems ecstatic over the recent turn of events.

"In some ways it feels like we've won the lottery,” he said. "There's been a natural donor base for someone willing to take on a person with a national profile who is seen as a failed leader."

While it’s still a longshot that she loses her bid for reelection, Nathan Gonzales of the nonpartisan Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report told Fox News that Wasserman Schultz's recent troubles “raise the natural question” about whether she is at risk in her primary contest.

“In such a high-profile situation, it’s easy to image an (upset.) But it’s extremely difficult to beat an incumbent in a primary,” he said. “She has her share of problems, but I don’t know if that’s going to hit her in her district.”

Gonzales said he would need to see new polling and more information before making a decision to downgrade her seat from “safe.”