June 24 will be a busy day for primaries. Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel will fight for the Mississippi Republican Senate nomination one last time in a runoff. There are primaries in New York, where 27 districts will need to choose their House candidates -- although most of the races aren't competitive. There is a great Republican Senate primary in Oklahoma, and there are Senate and gubernatorial primaries in Colorado. Florida, Utah and Maryland are also holding primaries but there are few marquee contests on the schedule.
In July, there will be a handful of primary run-offs, but for the most part, elections workers go into summer vacation mode between June 24 and August 5. (Kind of like the rest of the country.)
Enjoy it while you can.
Although voting will go on hiatus for awhile, don't expect the campaigns to rest -- especially after the shock that was Eric Cantor's primary loss last week. Incumbents are going to be extra wary for the rest of the year, afraid that unseen ills lurking in their district will condemn their chances for re-election. They've got money, and that means they're going to spend it. For voters in media markets with races distant in time but close in the polls, primary season is about to intensify, not fade away.
Take Alaska, for instance. The Republican Senate primary won't be held until August 26. That's more than two months from now, and yet the two leading candidates have still spent more than $700,000 each. New Hampshire has one of the last primaries of the season on September 9. Outside groups have already spent more than $1 million on the Senate race there, and ad spending is sure to grow exponentially in the upcoming months.
For states that have already wrapped up their primaries, the two remaining major party candidates will continue sparring over the summer, doing their best to make sure that reporters have a deep reserve of fed-up voters -- sick and tired of the campaign ads and the negativity and the endless phone calls from party volunteers and pollsters -- to quote by the time September arrives. Races that haven't gone negative yet often start to fester over the summer. Voters who haven't paid attention to the election so far -- i.e. most of them -- start to tune in.
Who are we kidding? No one has a break from campaigning anymore -- not if 2016 presidential candidates are already toying with our affections this early in the game. The voting may be on hiatus, but we're stuck with the campaigning forever.