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Canova's poll shows he is eight points behind Wasserman Schultz

A poll done for Tim Canova shows he is eight points behind longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The poll showed that Wasserman Schultz leads 46-38 percent with 16 percent undecided. Her lead narrows after the pollster provided positive and negative information about the candidates, but the press release from Canova's campaign didn't reveal the information provided to voters.

Canova and Wasserman Schultz are competing in a Democratic primary in the Broward/Miami-Dade Congressional District 23. The primary is Aug. 30th but voters are already casting ballots by mail. 

The poll showed that 52 percent of respondents view Wasserman Schultz favorably and 35 percent unfavorably while 13 percent have no opinion of her or never heard of her. For Canova, his favorable-unfavorable split is 32-8 percent.

But the poll shows Canova's biggest weakness: 60 percent of voters have no opinion/never heard of him. Despite his national media exposure due to Bernie Sanders endorsing him and his prolific fundraising, he is a first-time candidate who isn't well known in the district. Wasserman Schultz has been an elected official for more than two decades -- first in the state Legislature and elected to Congress in 2004.

The summary of the poll provided by Canova's campaign also shows that voters disagree with her stances on Big Sugar and payday lending.

The poll of 400 voters was done July 27-28, a few days after Wasserman Schultz announced she would step down as Democratic National Committee chair. Her decision came after WikiLeaks published thousands of DNC emails which showed the party favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders, a charge Wasserman Schultz had previously denied for months. It also showed that party staff were tracking Canova's campaign events and media coverage.

This was the first poll released in the race so far. There have been no public polls and Wasserman Schultz's campaign hasn't commented about polling.

The poll for Canova was done by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.