Though Debbie Wasserman Shultz clearly holds the advantage in her congressional district as an incumbent in an area that values the establishment, opponent Tim Canova has clearly found something special in his rapidly growing campaign.
Much like Senator Bernie Sanders, Canova has had a great deal of success in fundraising among private citizens giving small contributions. In 2016, Canova has already raised over a million dollars worth of individual contributions, an impressive figure for a first-time congressional candidate in a primary race. The significant figure comes from 53,000 donations from 25,000 individuals, averaging less than $20, the majority made online.
Wasserman Schultz’s pride could be her downfall as her consistent refusal to debate or even acknowledge her primary opponent has only increased the disdain for the incumbent. A general dislike for the way that Wasserman Schultz is handing the DNC primary race will no doubt have an effect on the race as well.
Of course, Wasserman Schultz has the firepower of the entire establishment behind her. President Obama came out strongly in favor of the DNC chair last month, a rare primary endorsement for a congressional candidate. Unfortunately for Wasserman Schultz, this endorsement had a volatile effect as many disenfranchised Democrats donated to Canova’s campaign in response to Obama’s endorsement.
Canova is certainly fighting a massive uphill battle against the Democrat darling, but popular support and the generosity of progressive Democrats mean that he will not have to fight alone.