The biggest knock on Democrat Tim Canova, the onetime Bernie Sanders adviser who is trying to oust fellow Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Congress, has been that most of Canova's support
Now that 2016's first-quarter Federal Election Commission filings are in, we've got solid proof that outside donors are propping up Canova's campaign for Florida's 23rd Congressional District. According to
A few weeks ago, Canova reported that he'd received 26,000 individual contributions between January and March of this year. Of those, 2,615 — 10 percent — came from within the state. Canova couldn't say the dollar amount, but with an average donation size of just $20, he's likely raised less than $50,000 from Floridians.
Interestingly, Wasserman Schultz didn't really do that well among people in her home state this year either. She only received 2,487 in-state contributions, 128 fewer than Canova did, according to the Sun Sentinel's figures. It remains to be seen whether Canova will still garner donations, especially with Sanders having fallen behind Clinton in the primaries. During the last quarter, 65 percent of Wasserman Schultz's donations came from out-of-state donors as well.
Since no polls have been released yet projecting who might win the 23rd District, campaign fundraising is the only way we can really gauge how the candidates stack up so far. (Though Canova is pretty openly campaigning to get money out of politics.)
In election filings, candidates are only forced to report demographic information about "large" donations of $200 or more. The Center for Responsive Politics, which operates the website OpenSecrets.org, keeps demographic data on every federal election in the country; according to the site, just 1 percent of Canova's large donations — a scant $1,000 — have come from his own district.
Among donors of $200 or more, Canova's top five zip codes are Park Slope, Brooklyn; Manhattan's Upper West Side; Princeton, New Jersey; Malibu, California; and Key Largo, Florida.
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But Wasserman Schultz's top ten large-donor zip codes are all in Florida. She's raised $147,620 in Miami alone, as well as $73,375 in Fort Lauderdale and $22,700 in West Palm Beach. (Canova's top city? New York, where he raised $17,095.) She's raised more than $1.5 million in total, though much of that has come from out-of-state
"Our out-of-state donations are all from real, live human beings," Canova said via email. "DWS takes huge amounts from corporate PACs, funded by corporate persons chartered in Delaware." This may be true, but even Bernie Sanders has leaned pretty heavily on big donations from some corporations — Google, for example, gave Sanders $255,814, and Microsoft pitched in $96,446.
Elsewhere, it's been a bad few weeks for Sanders' "Political Revolution." Not only has Sanders himself been virtually eliminated from the presidency — he's laying off staffers left and right — one of his most promising ground-level surrogates, Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman, a tattooed, bearded Harvard graduate from the Pittsburgh suburbs, lost in Pennsylvania's primary this week.
The bright side? Canova's still doing a hell of a lot better than the top Republican running, local Islamophobe Joe Kaufman.
Note: The piece formerly did not state that 65 percent of Wasserman Schultz's 2016 donors also came from out-of-state. In order to provide proper context, the story has been amended.