While her Maryland Senate campaign has yet to gain steam in the race for cash, Rep. Donna Edwards wants voters there to know she is leading her fellow Democratic candidate, Rep Chris Van Hollen, in a newly released poll.
On Monday, the Edwards campaign unveiled internal polling it commissioned from the Global Strategy Group that showed her with a 5-point lead over Van Hollen.
The poll, which surveyed 600 likely voters by telephone from August 3 to 9, showed the two candidates basically tied when it came to their name identification and popularity. Their favorable ratings, 45 percent, were identical and Van Hollen bested Edwards' name identification by 1 percent – well within the poll's 4-point margin of error.
While Van Hollen possesses the fundraising strength in the race, Edwards is relying on outside Democratic groups such as EMILY's List, which is supporting her bid to replace another Democratic woman, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who is retiring.
“Today, there are no African-American women in the United States Senate, and Maryland needs Donna’s unique and important perspective as a single African-American mom at the table," said EMILY’s List Executive Director Jessica O’Connell. "The EMILY’s List community of over 3 million members is committed to keeping this seat in the hands of a progressive Democratic woman and is proud to continue supporting Donna Edwards’ campaign."
The release of internal polling numbers — often used by campaigns to boost their perception among donors and their base supporters —came nine months before voters are set to head to the polls for the Senate primary. Polling this early, said one Democratic operative with knowledge of Maryland's Senate race, is more about "testing your message" than anything else.
At the same time Edwards said she had a lead over Van Hollen, his campaign told CQ Roll Call it had earned another endorsement "in the heart and soul of Donna's district." After spending time with local elected officials at the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City, Md., Van Hollen's campaign announced Tuesday the support of Erek Barron, a state delegate from Prince George's County.
"Anyone watching this race knows that Chris is building a huge amount of momentum and doing everything right to secure a clear path to victory," said Erik Dorey, a spokesman for Van Hollen's campaign. "Chris is winning key endorsements from community activists and elected officials everywhere in the state, and he’s raising contributions from fellow Marylanders who are engaged and excited by his campaign."
Van Hollen reported raising $1.5 million in the second quarter , which ended June 30, while Edwards raised $590,000 during the same period.