The NCSL Blog


By Wendy Underhill

Today is a big day for primaries.

Vote Here signEight states—Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota—hold their state primaries today, June 5.

  • Eight is three more than any other single date on the primaries calendar.
  • These states touch the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast—and both international borders. 
  • They account for just under 20 percent of the U.S. population.
  • The primaries account for 665 legislative seats, 11 percent of the 6,066 elections this year. (To track the math, go to 2018 Legislative Races by State and Chamber.)
  • Two of the six—New Jersey and Mississippi—don’t contribute to the total number of legislative races because they hold legislative elections in odd-numbered years. Their primaries are for congressional and local races.

Whether any of this means much in terms of partisan control of legislatures and states is an open question. But it could prove helpful if you choose "Elections for $200" on Jeopardy.

Wendy Underhill is NCSL’s director of elections and redistricting.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.