Everything You Need to Know About the 2022 Primary Elections


The 2022 primary season kicks off in Texas on March 1, and with the start of primary season comes some big questions about which direction either party will go.  Democrats will be duking out over what direction the party will take after its agenda has largely stalled in Congress, while Republican candidates face tough questions about former President Donald Trump’s role in the party and whether they acknowledge the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On top of this, the 2022 primary season includes numerous races for offices like governor and attorney general, who will play an important role in certifying election results for 2024 and beyond, adding extra weight to the questions some candidates will face over democracy and the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Wait, what is a primary?  Political parties hold primary elections to select their nominees for candidates who will run on behalf of the party in the general election.  In a primary, Republicans run against Republicans, while Democrats run against other Democrats.  In contrast, the general election determines which candidates will occupy offices that are up for election.

Additionally, different states have different rules on how they conduct their primaries.  These are the four types of basic primary elections:

  • Open primaries, where anyone of any political party affiliation may vote.
  • Closed primaries, where only those voters who registered with that particular political party may vote.
  • Hybrid primaries, also called semi-open and semi-closed primaries, where anyone of any political party affiliation can vote, but can only vote in one primary.
  • Runoff primaries, where a few states hold a second primary between two candidates with the most votes.  Of note, both Louisiana and Georgia will have runoff races for their general elections scheduled after Election Day on November 8 for the top-two candidates if one candidate fails to win at least 50% of the vote in their most recent primary.

Below is a list of all key primary dates for congressional races with their respective state and runoff status.

Date State Type
March 1 Texas Runoff
May 3 Indiana Open
May 3 Ohio Open
May 10 Nebraska Hybrid
May 10 West Virginia Hybrid
May 17 Idaho Hybrid
May 17 Kentucky Closed
May 17 Oregon Closed
May 17 Pennsylvania Closed
May 17 North Carolina Runoff
May 24 Alabama Runoff
May 24 Arkansas Runoff
May 24 Georgia Runoff
May 24* Texas* Runoff
June 7 California Open
June 7 Iowa Open
June 7 Mississippi Runoff
June 7 Montana Open
June 7 New Jersey Hybrid
June 7 New Mexico Closed
June 7 South Dakota Hybrid
June 14 Maine Closed
June 14 Nevada Closed
June 14 North Dakota Open
June 14 South Carolina Runoff
June 21 Virginia Open
June 21 Alabama* Runoff
June 21 Arkansas* Runoff
June 21* Georgia* Runoff
June 28 Colorado Hybrid
June 28 Illinois Open
June 28 Maryland Closed
June 28 New York Closed
June 28 Oklahoma Runoff
June 28 Utah Hybrid
June 28* Mississippi* Runoff
June 28* South Carolina* Runoff
July 26* North Carolina* Runoff
August 2 Arizona Hybrid
August 2 Kansas Hybrid
August 2 Michigan Open
August 2 Missouri Open
August 2 Washington Open
August 4 Tennessee Open
August 9 Connecticut Closed
August 9 Minnesota Open
August 9 Vermont Open
August 9 Wisconsin Open
August 13 Hawaii Open
August 16 Alaska Open
August 16 Wyoming Open
August 16 South Dakota Hybrid
August 23 Florida Closed
August 23* Oklahoma* Runoff
September 6 Massachusetts Hybrid
September 13 Delaware Closed
September 13 New Hampshire Hybrid
September 13 Rhode Island Hybrid
November 8 Louisiana Runoff
December 6* Georgia* Runoff
December 10* Louisiana* Runoff

*Indicates runoff election date.

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