Tuesday’s primaries promise tiny turnout, but big results

BY Associated Press  May 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM EST

Election Map for Discussion on Page 24ATLANTA — Republican Senate primaries in Georgia and Kentucky have attracted international attention. But they’ll be settled by a relatively small slice of the electorate.

Seven candidates in Georgia want to replace retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The race will help determine which party controls the Senate in the final two years of the Obama administration. But early voting suggests fewer than 600,000 ballots will decide which two candidates advance to a July runoff.

That would be at least 78,000 fewer votes than a heated Republican primary for governor in 2010. Georgia has about 5 million active registered voters and about 10 million residents.

In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to coast over Republican primary rival Matt Bevin. But election officials there also expected a low turnout.

In today’s Morning Line, our politics team lays Tuesday’s races and all of the issues that could resonate on the national political stage. Last week, PBS NewsHour political editor Domenico Montanaro spoke with Judy Woodruff about the growing political polarization evident in the early primaries.