Over the past few years, use of the genome-wide association study (GWAS) has made it possible to identify the primary genetic mechanisms of essential hypertension. GWAS results have helped identify many loci in or near genes that generally were not expected to be associated with blood pressure or essential hypertension. However, considering the great expectations of improving clinical outcomes and the billions of dollars that have been spent on various GWASs, the progress made so far has been slow. There are several factors that could be responsible for the relative lack of success of GWASs. First, it is possible that the number of people enrolled in the various GWASs was not enough, thereby limiting the power to detect additional markers. Second, although the alleles that are associated with a modest increase in risk are constantly being found, their discriminatory ability and use as predictive markers has been quite low. Difficulties with control group selection along with unrepeatability have also been problematic when using GWASs. The current paper summarizes the recent progress attained when using a GWAS of hypertension to identify the many loci associated with essential hypertension. In this review, we discuss the progress and issues of a GWAS for hypertension.