Poll shows Van Hollen holds apparent lead over Edwards in Senate race

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has an apparent lead over Rep. Donna Edwards in the race to succeed Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate, a new poll shows.

The NBC4/Marist poll shows Van Hollen as the choice of 44 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, with Edwards coming in at 38 percent in the poll released Tuesday. Eighteen percent were undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent, however, so Van Hollen’s support could be as low as 40.5 percent; Edwards’, as high as 41.5.

The poll also found Kathy Szeliga leading the Republican race for the seat, as the choice of 20 percent of those surveyed. She leads Richard Douglas, at 13 percent, and Chrys Kefalas, with 9. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed were undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.1 percent.

Likely voters’ preferences correlated strongly with race. Van Hollen, who is white and has represented Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District since 2003, leads Edwards among likely white voters, 62 percent to 21 percent. Edwards, who is African-American and has represented Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District since 2008, leads among African-American likely voters, 59 percent to 22 percent.

The Van Hollen campaign told NBC Washington in a statement, “Maryland voters are clearly responding to Chris Van Hollen’s proven record of getting results and vision for the future.”

The Edwards campaign’s statement read in part, “We’re confident that voters will stand with Donna on Election Day because she’s championing the values of Maryland’s working families and taking on the Washington special interests holding them back.”

The poll was conducted April 5 to 9, and surveyed 2,563 registered voters, including 775 likely Democratic primary voters and 368 likely Republicans.

The primary is April 26; early voting runs April 14 to 21.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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