Turnout of the core support groups for all three Republican candidates - Angela McGlowan, Alan Nunnelee, and Henry Ross - is each's major challenge because even with an intense campaign voter count is expected to be lower than a full ballot primary.
All three candidates enjoy strong name recognition in their home towns - McGlowan in Oxford, Nunnelee in Tupelo, and Ross in Eupora - but nothing can be taken for granted because all three are new to congressional politics.
The 1st District stretches from DeSoto County, bordering Memphis and Shelby County, Tenn., to Lowndes County and Columbus, bordering western Alabama, and encompasses more than 700,000 Mississippians.
Many people who enjoy political discussion look to today's 1st District GOP primary as a window on the strength of the Tea Party movement in Northeast Mississippi. The Tea Party is seen as the most fiscally conservative and sometimes anti-establishment wing of the GOP, and in the Senate primary in Kentucky, Tea Party adherent Rand Paul defeated the hand-picked choice of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a traditional party loyalist.
Party primaries, under Mississippi law, are open on the first vote to all eligible registered voters. Mississippians don't register by party, but those voting in a primary are considered to be declared for one party or another and cannot change party primaries in case of a runoff. In today's voting, any runoff would be for the Republican nomination, so the primary crossover law has no relevance.
Democrats who choose may vote in the GOP primary.
In the general election, primary rules don't apply.
We continue to believe that the key motivation for voting should be good citizenship.
Voting affirms our electoral democracy and the reliability of the system that's evolved through the 234 years of American history.
Voting remains the most reliable and ultimately surest way to change the direction of a municipality, county, region, state - or the nation. Sometimes, a primary becomes the battleground for changing a party's direction.
Every election day is a grassroots movement. It can become a fresh start.
It also can be an affirmation.
The only way to enjoy authentic satisfaction with any election day is in participation.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The polling places used in state elections will be used today.
Support the candidate of your choice with a vote.