Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) talks with diners in a Denny's in Easton, Md., on Aug 13. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Struggling with a lack of cash and behind in the most recent polling, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) has just received a $1 million boost in her campaign for the Senate.

The Democratic pro-choice women’s group Emily’s List is putting $1 million into television and radio ads supporting Edwards in a primary against Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

“Democrat Donna Edwards knows what it’s like to struggle,” a narrator says over clips of the congresswoman. “Divorced and without a place to live. Raising her son alone. Going without health insurance to put food on the table. But Donna overcame. She persevered. Then she put that backbone to work for us.”

Emily’s List endorsed Edwards early in the race and has held fundraisers with her, but this ad is the group’s first independent spending in the campaign. The ads will target female African American Democratic primary voters in the Baltimore media market, the group said, airing on broadcast, cable, radio and digital streaming services.

Van Hollen, who has more than 10 times as much money as Edwards, has launched his own television campaign. A recent Baltimore Sun poll found that those ads may already be working in his favor, with likely voters in the April 26 primary supporting him over Edwards by a 14-pont margin.

He has also urged Edwards to agree to a pledge banning outside groups from involvement in the race. Edwards has resisted, saying that as the less well-funded candidate, she needs help from Emily’s List and others.