The important dates to know for a jam-packed election year in 2024

Presidential candidates, House and Senate hopefuls, gubernatorial nominees and others will face off on Nov. 5 after a busy year of party primaries and special elections.

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition's 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at the Venetian Convention & Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — The 2024 calendar will be chock-full of national and statewide races alongside a contentious presidential election coinciding with Donald Trump’s slate of trials amid his run for another term.

Presidential candidates, House and Senate hopefuls, gubernatorial nominees and others will face off on Nov. 5 after a busy year of party primaries and special elections. Additionally, the former president faces four trials following 2023 indictments related to alleged election interference, classified documents and hush money payments as he challenges President Joe Biden for the White House.

“Next year could be a crazy year! Trump vs Biden vs who knows how many third parties? Plus the two parties continuing to deal with realignment of their constituencies. Plus an electorate that’s probably more pissed than it was even in 2016,” Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist and veteran of numerous campaigns, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Could be a nutty cycle!”

Presidential primaries

Trump remains the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary with a more than 50-point lead, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 11.3%, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 11%, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 4%, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3.3% and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson at 0.8%, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

The former president is also ahead by double digits in the key early nominating states of IowaNew HampshireSouth Carolina and Nevada, according to RCP.

Iowa’s caucus is the first nominating contest of the 2024 season on Jan. 15, followed by New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 23. Nevada is holding both a party primary and a state caucus within two days of each other on Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, respectively.

South Carolina’s primary is set for Feb. 24, and Michigan’s will take place three days later.

As a part of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) new calendar, at the directive of Biden, South Carolina was moved up first for their party, pushing back both Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa caved to the DNC, and will release their presidential preferences on March 5, while New Hampshire kept its late January date.

Because of this, Biden will not appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot, however, a significant write-in campaign is well underway. This allows for a small opening for Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota to shore up support in the state.

On March 2, Missouri and Idaho both hold their GOP caucuses, while North Dakota‘s will take place two days later. Over a dozen states will hold their Republican nominating contests on March 5, or Super Tuesday, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

The GOP nominating contests for Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi and Washington are set for March 12, while Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio’s will take place on March 19. Louisiana’s primary is on March 23.

On April 2, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin will hold their primaries, while Pennsylvania’s will take place on April 23. Indiana’s primary is on May 7; West Virginia, Nebraska and Maryland’s are on May 14; and Oregon and Kentucky’s are on May 21.

The Republican National Convention will take place from July 15 to July 18 in Milwaukee, Wis., and the Democratic National Convention follows on Aug. 19 to Aug. 22 in Chicago, Ill.

Presidential general election

Trump is trending ahead of Biden both nationally and in crucial battleground state polls for a 2024 hypothetical rematch, according to RCP. The former president is ahead by 2.3 points nationally, and is also leading in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Numerous third-party candidates are likely to be on the ballot along with the two leading party candidates, including independents Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is also running again, West Virginia’s Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is weighing a bid with centrist organization No Labels and a Libertarian Party nominee is also expected to be on the ticket.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walk along the West Colonnade, Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

No Labels will decide whether or not to run a “Unity Ticket” after mid-March 2024, and is scheduled to hold an April nominating convention in Dallas.

Recent polling suggests Trump’s margin of victory against Biden grows with multiple third-party candidates on the ballot, including a J.L. Partners/Daily Mail survey released Tuesday.

Trump’s trials

As Trump is vying to return to the White House, he faces the trials for four criminal indictments — one in New York, one in Florida, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Georgia.

The former president was first arrested by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in late March for allegedly falsifying business records to reimburse a hush money payment his former lawyer gave to porn star actress Stormy Daniels. The trial date for this case is set for March 25.

Special counsel Jack Smith handed down the next indictment in June with charges related to Trump allegedly mishandling classified documents. This case is scheduled to take place on May 20.

In August, Smith indicted Trump for alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and alleged interference in the 2020 election. The trial date is currently set for March 4 — the day prior to Super Tuesday.

The fourth indictment was issued by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in August for alleged interference in Georgia’s 2020 election. A trial has not been officially scheduled, but Willis has been pushing for an Aug. 5 date.

Senate races

Unlike the House, where all of its members face reelection every two years, less than half of the upper chamber’s seats are on the ballot in 2024. There are several key races to keep an eye on as Democrats go on defense.

There are eight vulnerable Senate Democrats that Republicans are trying to oust in November, including Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who is an independent but caucuses with the party. The GOP is also eyeing the seats held by Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who are both retiring.

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks at a No Labels event in July 2023. (Shutterstock)

Republicans will vie for the nomination in Ohio on March 19, Pennsylvania on April 23, Montana on June 4, West Virginia on May 14, Arizona and Michigan on Aug. 6 and Wisconsin on Aug. 13.

Additionally, California’s Democratic primary, which is taking place on March 5, has become increasingly competitive as candidates fight to replace the late Dianne Feinstein. Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee are all vying for the state’s open primary, alongside Republican Steve Garvey, who recently placed second in a poll for the contest.

A New Jersey Senate race has also garnered significant attention, as several prominent candidates are vying to oust Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on June 4, who was recently indicted over alleged bribery. Recent polls show Menendez in the single digits against Rep. Andy Kim, first lady Tammy Murphy and other Democrats.

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney’s retirement has set up a competitive primary for the solid red seat. State House Speaker Brad Wilson and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs are already vying for the seat, with Rep. John Curtis considering a bid, along with several others.

House races

All of the lower chamber’s 435 seats are on the ballot in 2024, with Republicans aiming to retain and grow their slim majority.

A wave of recent Democratic retirements and other open seats have given the GOP several pickup opportunities, including battleground districts in California, Virginia and Michigan, with primaries on March 5, June 18 and Aug. 6, respectively.

Other contentious primaries in Republican strongholds include Colorado’s 4th Congressional District and Arizona’s 8th, whose primaries will take place on June 25 and Aug. 6, respectively.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, who currently represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, decided to run for outgoing Rep. Ken Buck’s seat Wednesday instead of facing a potentially difficult reelection bid in the primary and general for her post. The congresswoman’s candidacy will likely make for a competitive primary, as numerous Republicans are already vying for the nomination in District 4.

Several prominent Republicans are running to succeed Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who is not seeking another term in the House. Former GOP attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh, former Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters, state House Speaker Ben Toma, state Sen. Anthony Kern and former Rep. Trent Franks are in the race.

Gubernatorial races

While only three states held gubernatorial races in 2023, 11 will be on the ballot in 2024, with a majority being open seats.

Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia are all holding governor’s races.

Republican Spencer Cox is running for reelection in Utah, while GOP Govs. Phil Scott of Vermont, Greg Gianforte of Montana and Doug Burgum of North Dakota, who recently suspended his presidential campaign, have yet to decide whether to seek another term.

The primaries for these seats are on Sept. 10 for Delaware, May 7 for Indiana, Aug. 6 for Missouri, June 4 for Montana, Sept. 10 for New Hampshire, March 5 for North Carolina, June 11 for North Dakota, June 25 for Utah, Aug. 13 for Vermont, Aug. 6 for Washington and May 14 for West Virginia.

North Carolina’s gubernatorial race has come into the spotlight, as Trump is supporting GOP Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in the race, though two other Republicans are vying for the nomination. The governor’s race in New Hampshire also made headlines over the summer as GOP Gov. Chris Sununu opted against running again, prompting former Sen. Kelly Ayotte to quickly launch a bid for the office.


Mary Lou Masters