Primary Elections? Sure, We Got ’Em

August might be a sleepy time for some, but not for the midterms

These folks, Public Advocate of the U.S. Inc, cannot wait for the Senate to come back and get to its hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Wednesday, they hosted a live performance by the “Kavanaugh Singers” in front of the high court to promote the judge’s confirmation. The group sang “Confirm Brett” to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Che-ree.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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No recess for primary elections!

August might be a sleepy time for legislation, the Senate’s capital busy-work period notwithstanding (See The Kicker below). But this is a midterm election year, and we are still in the thick of primary season.

This Saturday, Hawaiians go to the polls to sort out their general election candidates, and come Tuesday, there’s another batch of primaries in Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota and Connecticut. 

The following week on Aug. 21, Alaskans and Wyomingites host their primaries. 

And the Sunbelt rounds out the month with primary elections in Florida and Arizona on Aug. 28. The Grand Canyon State features a marquee battle for the GOP Senate nomination between Rep. Martha McSally, former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the latter of whom got all kinds of positive press after being punked by Sacha Baron Cohen on the satirical “Who is America?” show. 

But wait, there’s more! Primary season isn’t over until September, when Massachusetts, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island get in on the action. 

Roll Call has the full calendar on its 2018 From Start to Finish section. 

This Week’s Podcast


There have been 11 special elections for the U.S. Congress since last year, and they all have one thing in common: Democrats have performed better than the partisan breakdown would suggest. Senior political writer Simone Pathé and elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales joined us to discuss this phenomenon. From a heavily Democratic California district seeing even more Democrats vote for their party to a comfortably Republican Ohio district becoming a swing one, each special election bore that out.  

The Kicker

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 7: The Dirksen/Hart Senate subway line runs mostly empty during recess on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The Dirksen/Hart Senate subway line, seen here Tuesday, runs mostly empty during recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week was as solid a recess as one may get this August, at least in the Senate. The House is away until after Labor Day, but senators, not without some grumbling, will be spending more of August here in Washington. That all has ripple effects, including deferred maintenance and increased staffing costs for taxpayers. Roll Call’s own Katherine Tully McManus outlined it all: What the Recess Rollback Means for Capitol Hill (and Taxpayers)

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