U.S. Representative and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz may be facing the political fight of her career to keep her U.S. House seat in Florida's congressional delegation -- and neither the media, the pollsters, nor the partisan elite will see it coming.
Buoyed by Republicans, independents, and liberal Democrats who are disenchanted with the business-as-usual politics in Washington that Wasserman Schultz has come to represent, independent candidate Tim Canova is in a statistical dead heat with Wasserman Schultz for an election day victory next week.
That's according to a private GOP poll conducted by a candidate or donor.
The Republican sources who revealed the poll results to the press wouldn't say who, and no public, official polls have been conducted for this race.
It's a stunning result, and more credible for the fact that it doesn't favor the Republican candidate, Joe Kaufman, as internal party polls tend to have some level of bias. Even the dead-even split between Wasserman Schultz and Canova isn't giving the Republican much of an opening.
Canova is a former Democrat turned independent, who supported the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2016. He ran against Wasserman Schultz in the 2016 Democratic primary for her seat, but lost. However, the results were not without controversy.
Tim Canova's campaign requested a recount. Yet thousands of ballots had been discarded by the Broward County supervisor of elections. Canova filed suit, and a circuit court judge ruled in May that the ballots were destroyed illegally.
Canova previously told IVN that his decision to switch from Democrat to independent was influenced by the actions of the Broward County supervisor of elections and the local and state Democratic Parties:
“It reached a tipping point dealing with the ballot destruction from my previous primary against [Wasserman Schultz]. We discovered during the course of litigating in our efforts to inspect the ballots…that the Broward Supervisor of Elections completely destroyed all of the paper ballots while the litigation was pending, and in violation of federal law.
When the party could not be bothered with investigating ballot destruction that has undermined people’s faith and confidence in the integrity of the system, to me it just became intolerable.”
Now, he finds himself in a position where he could defeat Rep. Wasserman Schultz, whose political career is now in peril after being plagued by scandal after scandal since 2016.
This includes her role in what many Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporters saw as stacking the deck in Hillary Clinton's favor during the 2016 nomination contest instead of letting the voters pick their candidate. She was asked personally by then-President Barack Obama to resign as the DNC chair.
Wasserman Schultz was also at the center of a corruption and cybersecurity scandal involving her friend and staffer, Imran Awan -- a story that can only be described as surreal.
In a recent op-ed for The Miami Herald, Tim Canova says he's running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz because:
"To me, she was the epitome of why the party was failing: a corporate funded incumbent supporting a trickle-down Wall Street agenda of corporate trade deals, payday lending, private prisons, and endless wars...
I didn’t leave the Democratic Party as much as it left me. It’s much the same with the Republican Party. Both went so establishment and corporate that they abandoned the American people."
It is difficult to know for sure how accurate the polling is given the highly secretive nature of its release. However, if Canova can pull off the win, it could be the biggest political upset in the 2018 midterms.