I've been writing for some time about the decline in elected Republican women -- a trend that started around 2004 and shows no signs of ending. It's happening up and down the ballots, but is perhaps most acute, and obvious, in the US Senate.
The GOP is down to four female Senators, after the 2008 loss of Elizabeth Dole in NC. After Kay Bailey Hutchison of TX resigns -- likely this fall -- to concentrate on her gubernatorial campaign, it'll just be the three women from sparsely populated frozen tundras off in the corners of the map: Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
And thus far, it doesn't look like that number is going to change much in 2010.
Let's look first at the open seats:
--In Florida, the GOP primary is Charlie Crist v. Marco Rubio.
--In Ohio, the GOP is lined up being Rob Portman.
--In Missouri, the GOP establishment is behind Congressman Roy Blunt, but former state treasurer Sarah Steelman is likely to run against him from the right. Even if she wins the nomination, she would seem to have little chance against Robin Carnahan in the general.
--In Kansas, it's congressmen Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran for the GOP nod.
--In New Hampshire, the only woman I've heard mentioned is Jennifer Horn, who has indicated she won't run, and who would have little chance against Congressman Paul Hodes in the general anyway.
--In Delaware, the GOP establishment is desperately trying to get Congressman Mike Castle to run; if he doesn't, third-time candidate Christine O'Donnell might sneak away with the nomination, and get beaten two-to-one like she was in 2008.
So, out of those six, the best bet is an outside shot with Steelman. Next, the Democratic incumbents considered vulnerable:
--Roland Burris, Illinois. Congressman Mark Kirk, if he runs, figures to be the only Republican with a shot at winning (assuming that Burris is ousted in the Democratic primary). If Kirk doesn't run, it looks like Congressman Pete Roskam will go for it. No women under consideration that I know of.
--Chris Dodd, Connecticut. Rob Simmons and one or two other men are
lining up for the GOP. I haven't seen a woman's name speculated.
--Kristen Gillibrand, New York. No GOP women in the mix.
--Harry Reid, Nevada. At last, a woman! Robin Titus, a physician, announced her candidacy last week. Sharron Angle, a former assembywoman, is also said to be considering a run. Neither appears to have much of a chance.
--Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. I've seen many, many, names of potential GOP candidates... all men.
--Michael Bennet, Colorado. Again, many men's names bandied about, but no women.