The Significance of Primary Elections in 2018 Mar 06, 2018 By: Julie Schrei, Director, Political Affairs, Food Marketing Institute Today, thousands of Texas voters will head to the polls to kick off 2018 primary election season. With 435 U.S. House seats up for re-election this November, Texas’ primary is just the beginning of the 2018 Midterms. According to election analyst Charlie Cook, only 72 of those 435 seats are “swing districts”- meaning electoral analysis shows they do not have strong potential to favor one political party. More importantly, this means that 363 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives favor one political party and the battle occurs in the primary, not the general election. These primary elections can mean the difference between a moderate candidate, a far left or far right candidate. Odds are you live in a “lean Republican” or “lean Democrat” district, where Charlie Cook places most of the U.S. House races. To truly make your voice heard, you cannot wait until November 6. Voting in the primary is essential to make sure your preferred candidate is represented on the final ballot. Unsure of your upcoming state primary election? Visit our Voting Resources or our Resources online.