Reps. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are in a tight race for the U.S. Senate. A new polls shows that Edwards remains ahead. It also shows that those polled are splitting along racial lines. Even though Van Hollen has enjoyed support from local leaders in Maryland, the poll may be displaying that, once again, endorsements do not necessarily sway the decisions of voters.
Though the new Washington Post polls shows Edwards ahead of Van Hollen 44-40, it also demonstrated that Van Hollen leads by 23 percentage points among white women. However Edwards has a 51-point lead with Black women. That could be a key to an Edwards victory.
Over the last two presidential election cycles, Black women have led all other groups in voting percentage. Primary day in Maryland, April 26, will be the same day that Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders will be competing in the presidential primary. The higher turnout levels mixed with the power of Black female voters should play in Edwards favor.
Though Van Hollen is well regarded by colleagues as a prolific fundraiser and former House Budget Committee Chairman, he is not specifically known as a powerhouse on the types of progressive issues Edwards is often focused on. Bold Progressives and Emily’s List are loudly and vigorously supporting Edwards.
Edwards is celebrated as a strong progressive who worked her way up from local activist to defeat former Congressman Al Wynn, who is now a lobbyist. Edwards also became a leader in the U.S. House and became at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In 2014, DailyKos pushed for Edwards to be the Chair of the DCCC, but House Democratic Leader ben Ray Lujan selected Rep. Ben Ray Lujan instead.