What to Know
Rep. Chris Van Hollen won 44 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in a recent poll, up against Rep. Donna Edwards with 38 percent.
Van Hollen voters skew white, male and older, the poll said.
Edwards voters skew African-American, the poll said.
Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen has a six-point edge over Rep. Donna Edwards in the Democratic race for a U.S. Senate seat from Maryland, poll results released Tuesday show.
Van Hollen commanded 44 percent of likely Democratic primary voters reached in a new NBC4/Marist Maryland Poll conducted this month. Edwards won 38 percent of likely voters.
Eighteen percent of voters were undecided in the poll, for which data on likely Democratic primary voters had a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.
Voters for Van Hollen, who has represented Maryland's 8th congressional district since 2003, skew white, male and older than 45, the poll results show. Van Hollen won 62 percent of white likely Democratic primary voters polled; Edwards won 21 percent.
The majority of African-American likely Democratic primary voters polled said they would support Edwards, who has represented Maryland's 4th congressional district since 2008. Of these voters, 59 percent said they would choose Edwards; 22 percent said they would choose Van Hollen.
Of likely Democratic primary voters with a preference for a candidate, 53 percent said they strongly supported their choice of candidate; 31 percent said they "somewhat" support the candidate.
And 14 percent of likely Democratic voters who had chosen a candidate said they might vote differently when it comes time to cast a ballot, indicating some softness in the candidates' support.
The poll also questioned likely Republican primary voters in heavily Democratic Maryland. For the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Kathy Szeliga won 20 percent. Richard Douglas won 13 percent; Chrys Kefalas, 9 percent; and 57 percent were undecided.
The results on likely Republican primary voters had a 5.1 percentage point margin of error. Of those polled, 28 percent said they "strongly support" their candidate, 36 percent said they "somewhat" support their candidate, and 35 percent said they might vote differently.
The Campaigns Respond
Edwards' and Van Hollen's campaigns each released statements in response to the poll results.
"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," an Edwards' campaign representative said. "In Donna, Marylanders know they have a fighter who will expand Social Security, hold Wall Street banks accountable and work to end the scourge of gun violence plaguing too many of our communities."
A spokeswoman for Van Hollen's campaign said: "Maryland voters are clearly responding to Chris Van Hollen's proven record of getting results and vision for the future. It's unfortunate that Congresswoman Edwards has decided to make false attacks against Chris, which The Washington Post said were designed to mislead voters. It's part of a cynical ploy to cover up her record of ineffectiveness, and Maryland families deserve better."
The NBC4/Marist Maryland Poll, conducted April 5 through April 9, surveyed a total of 2,563 registered voters, including 775 likely Democratic primary voters and 368 likely Republican primary voters.