Politics

Poll: Debbie Wasserman Shultz Has Double-Digit Lead in Florida

A bright spot for embattled former DNC chairwoman

Despite a summer of bad headlines, 58 percent of Democratic voters in Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district have a favorable view of her, a new poll shows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At last, some good news for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In spite of the most challenging summer of the Florida congresswoman's career, she still commands a 10-point lead over opponent Tim Canova in next week's Democratic primary, according to a poll released by the South Florida Sun Sentinel/Florida Atlantic University.

"Ideally, if you're the incumbent, you'd like to have a bigger cushion,"  FAU political scientist Kevin Wagner told the Sun-Sentinel. "But I don't think there's an election where a person looks at a poll and sees they're up by double digits and thinks that's a bad thing."

The poll found Wasserman Schultz was the choice of 50 percent of likely Democratic voters in the Broward/Miami-Dade County 23rd Congressional District. Challenger Tim Canova had 40 percent, the newspaper reported Saturday.

Wagner told the newspaper that Canova is doing better than a challenger typically does.

The district is considered a shoe-in for the Democratic candidate in the November general election, according to the The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call which rates the race Safe Democrat

[Wasserman Schultz Will Step Down As DNC Chair]

But that hasn't meant an easy run for Wasserman Schultz. She resigned her position last month as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee amid protests over a series of email leaks that suggested the national party favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary season. She returned home to a well-funded primary challenger in Canova who is backed by Sanders.

Nevertheless, the party base in the 23rd District likes her, according to the Sun-Sentinel/FAU poll. She is seen favorably by 58 percent of the Democratic voters and unfavorably by 35 percent, a net positive of 23 points, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Only 7 percent said they were undecided or had never heard of Wasserman Schultz.

[Better Talk Fast: Wasserman Schultz Invites Challenger to 15-Minute Debate]

Canova, a professor of law and public finance at Nova Southeastern University who has never before run for public office, was viewed favorably by 46 percent and unfavorably by 22 percent, giving him a net positive of 24 points.

A total of 32 percent said they were undecided or had never heard of Canova, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The Business and Economics Polling Initiative surveyed 400 likely Democratic voters in the 23rd District for the Sun-Sentinel Aug. 17 through Aug. 19. The margin of error for the poll, which was conducted by an interactive voice response system, is 5 percentage points, the newspaper reported.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.