A new poll commisioned by her own campaign shows Rep. Donna F. Edwards ahead of her primary rival Chris Van Holen by five percentage points among likely Democratic voters. She is shown here in Easton, Md., on Aug. 13 (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Maryland Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards released a poll this week that shows her ahead of her primary rival Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) by five points among state Democratic voters in the race for the Senate in 2016, according to her campaign.

Democratic pollster Global Strategy Group surveyed 600 likely Democratic voters by phone in the first week of August and found that 42 percent of respondents said they would support Edwards while 37 percent chose to back Van Hollen.

The release of the results come after Edwards’s weekend trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, an unlikely place to drum up Democratic votes, in what is expected to be a difficult primary race for the congresswoman facing off against a politically connected and well-financed Van Hollen.

The congressman has raised three times as much money, enjoys robust support from state party leaders and deep ties to voter-rich districts in Montgomery County and Edwards’s back yard in Prince George's County. He announced a 12th endorsement in Edwards’s home county Tuesday — state Del. Erek L. Barron.

Edwards talks with people at a Denny's in Easton on Aug. 13. She is seeking to replace Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who has announced plans to retire. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

“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,” Van Hollen campaign spokesman Erik Dorey said in a statement.

The Edwards campaign has appealed to national progressive groups for funding and support and turned to voters in the far reaches of the state in her quest to become the first African American woman from Maryland to be elected to the Senate.

Jessica O’Connell, executive director of Emily’s List — which backs female candidates — said in a statement that the group’s 3 million members are “committed to keeping this seat in the hands of a progressive Democratic woman.” Democracy for America’s Charles Chamberlain said Edwards’s candidacy “presents Marylanders with a unique opportunity.”

The recent poll showed her strongest support came from Baltimore voters, women, African Americans and young voters, according to the campaign. But neither candidate holds an advantage in name recognition among state voters, the results show.

The latest poll also confirmed what Rep. Elijah E. Cummings already knew: He is very popular among likely Democratic voters. About 65 percent of survey respondents have a favorable view of the congressman — two percentage points higher than a poll he commissioned in March — and 20 points higher than Edwards and Van Hollen.

A Global Strategy Group poll commisioned and released by Edwards’s campaign shows her ahead of her primary rival, the well-connected and well-financed Rep. Chris Van Hollen, by five percentage points.

Cummings has said repeatedly that he has not made any decision to run.

Generally, poll results from campaigns favor the candidate and are not as dependable as those from independent organizations. The questions asked were not released by the campaign, only that she emerged with a lead. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus four percentage points.

The poll released Wednesday is the first either campaign has released publicly. Van Hollen overwhelmingly won a straw poll at a gathering of rural Democrats in June but has not yet released any poll data publicly.