Political Parties Seek Edge in Primaries

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Democratic and Republican leaders are counting on voters in the Aug. 5 primary election to nominate strong slates of candidates for the Michigan Legislature.

That's especially so in races for the state House, where the two parties are competitive enough that a shift in the balance of power is a realistic possibility.

Republicans seized control of the House in 2010. A five-seat swing would be needed for Democrats to gain majority status. Leaders of both parties say they're in strong positions.

In the Senate, the best Democrats can hope for is to chip away at the Republicans' 26-to-12 margin.

Some of the most contentious primary races feature Republican incumbents facing challenges from hard-line conservatives unhappy over the Legislature's decision to expand Michigan's Medicaid program under the federal health care law.