PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary election turnout is drawing praise from the leader of a Philadelphia voter watchdog group.

David Thornburgh, president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia, says the presidential race was largely responsible for the elevated voter turnout for a primary election.

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“Roughly 35 percent in the city,” he said, “and that’s against a high in the 2008 primary when Obama was first running of close to 50 percent.”

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Thornburgh says while that means 65 percent of registered voters stayed home, there have been worse showings at the polls.

“It’s significantly higher than some of the races,” he said, “maybe 2012 and 2004 when there wasn’t much of a race, at least in the Democratic primary.”

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Thornburgh says the dynamic shaping up in both parties for the presidential race in the fall could mean Pennsylvania will be in play. And, that, he says, could be a big factor in the turnout in November.