Raise The Bar

Send a message. #RaiseTheBar. You don't have to wait until the general election to influence the outcome. In many states, which are "Strong Blue" or "Strong Red", the primary election is effectively the general election, because we can predict with some certainty that these states will assign their Electors to whichever candidate wins the strong party's primary. In "Open Primary" states, you don't have to register with a political party in order to vote in that party's primary. Even if you decide to vote for your party's candidate in the general election, it may benefit you more to cross party lines to affect the strong party candidate if your state as a whole will vote for that candidate. The earlier your state's primary is held, the greater impact your vote will have on the nationwide presidential race when you vote in the strong party's primary.

Strong Blue States

The following states have open primaries and voted to assign their Electors to Barack Obama and Joe Biden by a margin of 5% or greater in 2012. If you live in these states, you should vote in the Democratic Primary.

State Margin Primary Election Date, 2016
Hawaii 42.71% D August 13th
Illinois1 16.87% D March 15th
Michigan 9.50% D March 8th
Minnesota 7.69% D August 9th
Vermont 35.60% D March 1st
Wisconsin 6.94% D April 5th

Strong Red States

The following states have open primaries and voted to assign their Electors to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan by a margin of 5% or greater in 2012. If you live in these states, you should vote in the Republican Primary.

State Margin Primary Election Date, 2016
Alabama 22.19% R March 1st
Arkansas 23.69% R March 1st
Georgia2 7.82% R May 24th
Missouri 9.38% R March 15th
Montana 13.65% R June 7th
North Dakota 19.63% R June 14th
South Carolina 10.47% R February 20th
Tennessee 20.40% R March 1st
Texas3 15.78% R March 1st
  1. Voters do not register with a party; however, they must publicly choose which party's ballot they will vote at the primary election.
  2. Voters do not register with a party, but voters must declare an oath of intent to affiliate with the party in whose primary they participate.
  3. Voters do not have to register with a party. At the primary, they may choose which party primary ballot to vote on, but in order to vote they must sign a pledge declaring they will not vote in another party's primary or convention for that year. Voters must affiliate with the same party in runoff primaries as in the previous primary for that year.

Whom Should I Vote For?

Use I Side With dot com to discover which strong party candidate most closely matches your policy positions. It's OK if that candidate matches your positions less than all of your party's candidates. Remember that you'll still be voting for your most preferred candidate overall in the general election. For the primary, look to find the best choice from among the strong party's candidates.