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Poll: Edwards has early lead

Rep. Donna F. Edwards, the Democratic incumbent facing a primary in Maryland's newly redrawn 4th Distrcit, enjoys a 68 percent favorability rating among likely primary voters and would beat all of her challengers if the election were held today, according to an internal poll obtained by The Sun.

Edwards, first elected in a special election in 2008, beats former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey 52 percent to 16 percent, according to the poll, which was funded by her campaign and conducted by Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners.

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Anne Arundel County Council member Jamie Benoit, who has said he is considering a run, draws 3 percent of the vote.

In Prince George's County, the likely focal point of the April 4 Democratic primary, Edwards performs even better: Eight in 10 voters have a favorable opinion of the congresswoman there and she leads Ivey 60 percent to 21 percent.

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In response to the poll, campaign spokesman Ben Gerdes said that Edwards "works and fights every single day for the residents of Maryland's 4th Congressional District, and these numbers reflect that."

Internal polls can often skew toward the candidate funding them and many voters are likely not yet paying attention to the race. Nearly five in 10 voters had a favorable view of Ivey and 41 percent had no opinion or had not heard of him.

Ivey won countywide elections in Prince George's in 2002 and 2006 and is expected to be a forbidable challenger. He has not formally kicked off his campaign but has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission required of any federal candidate who raises or spends more than $5,000.

Updated: Ramon Korionoff, an Ivey spokesman, said their campaign is in the field with its own poll and expects to have results soon. "Our campaign is going to continue to build on our momentum," Korionoff said. "Polls come in many forms and sizes and types and depending on the language...there can be variances."

The Edwards poll was conducted from Nov. 10-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.


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