The United States will elect its new president this year on November 5. Before that, candidates including incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will have to clear several hurdles. The race to the finish line will be busy, full of caucuses, primaries, conventions and debates. These are the key dates to watch in this very busy year for American politics.
The 60th US presidential election is the political event on everyone’s lips this year. On November 5, a new POTUS will be chosen to occupy the office. White House for the next four years. Both the outgoing president Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are running for re-election and face a difficult road ahead.
But to enter the presidential race, candidates must first be nominated through caucuses and primaries.
Caucuses are meetings held by political parties at the county, precinct, or district level. Participants divide into groups based on which candidate they support, which determines the number of delegates each candidate will receive.
Primaries take place at the state level and allow citizens to vote for their preferred candidate anonymously, by casting a secret ballot. The results are then taken into account to reward the winning delegates.
The Iowa caucus takes place on January 15 and is the curtain-raiser, followed by the New Hampshire primary on January 23. The first major event on the calendar is Super Tuesday on March 5, when the majority of states hold primaries or caucuses to vote for their preferred candidate.
Delegates will then represent their states at national party conventions before the big vote in November.
Iowa Republican Caucus
January 15 – Iowa Republicans kick off the presidential race today by holding their first caucus. So far, Republican candidates have rushed to make their case to voters. The outcome of the Iowa caucus is often a make-or-break moment for candidates vying to become the party’s nominee.
For Iowa Democrats, things look a little different. They will choose their candidate entirely by mail today and release the results on March 5, Super Tuesday. The decision motivated by President Biden is in part a response to the Tech Collapse of 2020 which delayed the results and triggered hours of waiting for voters, but also a way of putting an end to a system that he considers “restrictive” and “anti-worker”.
Republican presidential debates
January 18 – ABC News and WMUR-TV will host a Republican presidential primary debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Candidates who come in first in the Iowa caucus will be invited to train alongside any other hopefuls who reach a 10 percent vote threshold.
January the 21st – CNN will host a debate at New England College in New Hampshire. Again, the top three candidates in the Iowa caucuses will be invited to participate, along with any candidates who “receive at least 10 percent in three separate national and/or New Hampshire polls of responding Republican primary voters to CNN’s reporting standards. according to CNN. “One of the three polls must be a CNN-approved poll of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters.”
New Hampshire primary
January 23 – The first primary held by state and local governments will take place in New Hampshire, where participants will vote for their preferred Republican or Democratic candidate by secret ballot.
Although the Democratic National Committee (DNC) suggested changing the order of states, New Hampshire decided to keep its tradition of going first. Biden had pushed for the first national primary to be held in Caroline from the south, a state that helped propel him to power in 2020 and whose population is much more diverse than New Hampshire’s.
The dispute means Biden’s name will be absent from New Hampshire’s presidential primary ballot this year.
South Carolina Democratic Primary
February 3 – South Carolina will vote in the Democratic primary. President Joe Biden specifically requested that the first primary be held here because of the state’s large African-American population, which he hopes will help revive his re-election bid. The primary is not competitive, but it will be the first electoral test of Biden’s standing, as many local Democratic focus groups have expressed disenchantment with the political process.
Moving the first primary here from Iowa marks the biggest change in the Democratic National Committee’s nominating process in decades.
The Republican primary in South Carolina will take place a few weeks later, on February 24.
Nevada primary and caucus
February 6 – The Democratic primary will take place in Nevada.
February 8 – The Republican caucus will be held in Nevada.
February 27 – Republicans and Democrats will vote in this primary. Michigan, a state run by Democrats, advanced its presidential primaries, against the Republicans. Republicans will instead choose the majority of their delegates during the caucuses a few days later in March.
March 5 – It’s the biggest day of primaries in the United States and often helps narrow the field of candidates in the presidential race. A third of all delegates are awarded on this single day, considered the most important day of the presidential nominating process.
Democrats and Republicans will hold primaries in more than a dozen states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma , Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia.
Utah Democrats will also vote in their primaries while Republicans will hold their caucuses in the state. Alaska Republicans are voting in their primaries.
Final primaries of the race
12th of March – Georgia, Mississippi and Washington will each hold primaries. Hawaii Republicans will hold caucuses.
March 19 – Primaries held in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio.
June 4 – The last states to hold their presidential primaries will do so on this day. Time is running out for states that have not yet set dates for their primaries or caucuses.
July 15 to 18 – Wisconsin will host the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where the party will officially choose its nominee.
August 19 to 22 – The Democratic National Convention will be held in Chicago, Illinois.
These conventions are important because they determine which presidential and vice presidential candidates will represent the Republican and Democratic parties. To become a presidential candidate, a candidate must win the support of a majority of delegates. This usually happens during the party’s state primaries and caucuses.
State delegates will travel to national conventions to vote and confirm their choice of candidates. But if a candidate does not get a majority of a party’s delegates, the convention delegates choose the candidate.
These two conventions are also an opportunity for presidential candidates to officially announce who will run with them for vice president, to develop an electoral platform and to launch their fall campaigns.
September 16 – The first presidential debate will take place in San Marcos, Texas.
September 25 – The only vice presidential debate will take place that day in Easton, Pennsylvania.
October 1st – The second presidential debate will take place in Petersburg, Virginia.
October 9 – The third and final presidential debate will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah.
November 5 – Registered American voters will go to the polls on the final day of voting for the 2024 United States presidential election. It may be several days before the election result is known, especially if it is close and absentee voting is a factor.
You need 270 electoral votes out of a possible 538 to win the presidential election.
January 6, 2025 – The sitting vice president presides over the counting of the Electoral College votes in a joint session of Congress, announces the results, and declares who has been elected.
This is when former President Trump blasted his vice president Mike Pence in 2021 for refusing to try to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. Consequently, the The US Capitol was stormed by rioters And some chanted “hang Mike Pence” as they tried to stop the count. Biden’s victory was later certified.
Since then, Congress has passed the 2022 Electoral Count Reform Act, which requires approval from one-fifth of the House and Senate to consider challenging a state’s results — a much higher bar than t existed before, when a single lawmaker from either chamber could trigger a challenge.
January 20, 2025 – The president and vice president take the oath of office during the inauguration ceremony.
This article was adapted from original version in French.