Virginia's low-key republican primary Tuesday attracts a light to moderate turnout.
University of Mary Washington Political Analyst Dr. Steven Farnsworth says with polls showing a 50-50 split between GOP nominee George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine, it will likely be a very different picture in November, even attracting attention from casual voters.
Both Kaine and Allen's campaign are closely tied to the presidential race in a battleground state both parties consider vital for victory. A win for either in November could determine the balance of power in the Senate next January.
Farnsworth says name recognition, experience and the ability to raise money helped lead to Allen's win. Six years ago, Allen had been heavily favored for re-election and a possible GOP presidential hopeful until his chaotic campaign against Democrat Jim Webb self-destructed.