The dates for state primaries are listed below, sorted by state and by date. These primaries are used by political parties to determine candidates who will run for all partisan offices in their states on the general election ballot on Nov. 6, 2018. These include legislative seats in 46 states along with U.S. senators and representatives, governors and statewide officials.
Note that Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia hold their legislative elections in odd-numbered years. The dates listed for those states apply to congressional and other races. See Why do Four States have Odd-Year Elections for more information.
The earliest state primaries in 2018 will be held on March 6, and the latest in mid-September. June is the busiest month with 17 primaries, while there are no primaries scheduled for July.
Louisiana’s Nov. 6, 2018, election is an all-comers primary, where candidates of all parties are listed on one ballot together. If no candidate for a race receives a majority of the votes, the winner will be determined in a runoff on Dec. 8.
Eight states have reserved dates for a possible primary runoff in the event that no candidate gets the requisite percentage of votes. These dates are included on the chart below. For details on how runoffs work in these states, visit NCSL's Primary Runoffs webpage.
The manner in which party primary elections are conducted varies widely from state to state. Please visit the State Primary Types webpage for information on types of primaries, such as "closed," "open" and "Top Two."
Note that primary dates are subject to change by legislative action. Dates listed here are based on state election resources or statutory requirements as of Aug. 20, 2017.
For additional information, email NCSL's Elections Team or call us at 303-364-7700.
On the table below, select State to see an alphabetical list (A-W or W-A) or Date (first to last or last to first).