The NCSL Blog


By Amanda Zoch

With less than two months between now and the Iowa caucuses, politics dominates nearly every conversation about presidential primaries.

Canvass logoBut the process for choosing presidential candidates matters, too, which is why this month’s Canvass—the NCSL election administration newsletter—provides an extensive report on how state political parties are handling their states’ 2020 presidential primaries.

Our lead article covers legislative date changes for primaries, as well as shifts in how the Democratic and Republican parties will hold their primary elections or caucuses.

Our two main takeaways?

  1. Dems will use fewer caucuses in 2020 than they did in 2016 and instead will (mostly) rely on primaries.
  2. The GOP will hold fewer presidential primaries this year because President Donald Trump is running for a second term.

The December issue also includes an interview with Representative Chris Kennedy (D-Colo.), election news highlights, new NCSL resources on cybersecurity and information about ballot order lawsuits.

Find the December issue here. To subscribe, email us at

Amanda Zoch is an NCSL legislative policy specialist and Mellon/ACLS Fellow.

Posted in: Elections
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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.