But this year, Democrats are poised to finally make that jump.
Democrats had hoped that the "jungle primary" held on Tuesday in California and its 53 Congressional districts might keep Republicans off the ballot in the 14 seats they now hold, but that hope did not pan out, as Republicans placed in the top two finishers who qualify for the November ballot in all of those districts.
Polling is also close in matchups for two other top statewide offices: attorney general and secretary of state.
President Donald Trump is weighing in at the 11th hour on a key Congressional primary in SC - and he's doing it in a pretty shocking way. One seat they're targeting is in Nevada.
Before casting a ballot, Virginia voters in the primary election must declare whether they want a Republican or Democratic ballot. Also note that Rep. Bobby Scott (D) is unopposed in overwhelmingly "blue" VA-03; Rep. Don Beyer (D) has a Republican opponent (Thomas Oh) in overwhelmingly Democratic VA-08; and Rep. Gerry Connolly has a Republican opponent (Jeff Dove) in strongly "blue" VA-11.
Nevada also has an interesting governor's race, with six Democrats and seven Republicans vying to run for a position that's been controlled by the GOP for almost 20 years.
This week's principal focus is on Virginia, a state trending increasingly blue where Republicans hold a number of vulnerable House seats.
Anyone not already registered won't be able to vote. "The older people are ruling the country because the young people don't vote", said Mr. Berumen, a fast-food worker who recently moved here from California.
Nevada's Senate primary became much less interesting when businessman Danny Tarkanian was persuaded by Trump to end his challenge to Republican incumbent Sen.
One of the Democrats, Dan Helmer, an Army veteran and Rhodes Scholar recruited to run for Congress by the bipartisan leadership organization New Politics, grabbed headlines for a television ad comparing Trump to Osama bin Laden. The message being put out: Don't let Democrats take over the Carson City statehouse and turn Nevada into another California, strategists say. "We have had it with career politicians".
On Tuesday, five states - Nevada, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia - will vote to determine party nominees ahead of November's midterm elections.
We asked the Director of Elections and Voter Registration for Greenville County why voters should care about this year's primaries.
The Real Clear Politics Average of Polls now shows the Democrats with a 7.6 point generic ballot advantage, barely above the five point generic ballot advantage most political analysts say Democrats need to break even, due to Republican success in state legislatures gerrymandering Congressional Districts after the 2010 census.
An April 12-19 poll by the Nevada Independent and The Mellman Group showed Heller had support of 40 percent of likely voters and Rosen had 39 percent, a dead heat.
"This has given me somebody to vote for", he said.