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May 20, 2014 5:26 PM Primary Watch

By Ed Kilgore

So if you’re interested in watching the primary returns today, here are some notes.

First up, poll closing times (EDT):

6:00 Eastern Kentucky, including Louisville and Lexington
7:00 Western Kentucky, Georgia
8:00 Pennsylvania
8:30 Arkansas
10:00 Southern Idaho (MDT)
11:00 Northern Idaho (PDT)
11:00 Last chance to drop off mail ballots, Oregon

Odds are good Mitch McConnell’s primary will be called by the time polls close in GA. The vote count in GA is often slow, but low turnout today may speed it up. The big Atlanta area counties (Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett) often report late. Be aware GA has 159 counties, 28 of them in the Atlanta MSA.

Pointers for the GA GOP SEN contest: In the expected battle between Jack Kingston and Karen Handel for a runoff spot, key is how each candidate does outside his or her base (for Kingston, SE GA, for Handel, North Metro Atlanta). One interesting question is whether Kingston shows regional (i.e., non-Atlanta) strength in SW and Middle GA. For Handel, a strong performance in Cobb County (NW Atlanta suburb which she won handily in 2010, but where local congressman Phil Gingrey is in the way) would be a very good sign. Really low turnout estimates (say, under 500,000) could be deadly for David Perdue’s presumed front-runner status, and dangerous for Kingston.

The best place to follow the returns, as always, is Daily Kos Elections, which will offer live-blogging and links to both official and AP counts.

I’ll have results and analysis early tomorrow, and may Tweet some tonight, particularly about Georgia (or if upsets occur elsewhere).

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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