Washington Post had a nice
little article Friday about the record number of women running for
Congress as Republicans -- which gives good play to the much-deserving
Center for American Women and Poltics (CAWP) at Rutgers, and good spin
from congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington. That would be
enough of an excuse for me to delve further into my pet topic, the
extinction of the elected Republican woman. But Friday also brought news
that congresswoman Ginny
Brown-Waite of Florida is retiring. Bonus!
departure, along with Mary Fallon's running for governor of Oklahoma,
means that only 15 incumbent Republican women will be returning next
January -- assuming they all win re-election. Currently, the GOP
delegation is just under 10% -- 17 of 177.
look! A record 107 Republican women have filed to run for a House seat,
according to CAWP. Perhaps they'll make some gains after all.
One thing's for sure, there are quite a few Republican women running
for House seats. My list (which relies heavily on CAWP, among other
sources) is currently up to 134 (a few of whom have lost or dropped
out), including the 15 incumbents running for re-election.
great. But how many actually have a chance to win? Putting aside the
incumbents, by my count 55 of the 119 women challengers are in races
where there is any chance of a new Republican getting elected. The other
64 are in absolutely safe Democratic districts (or, in a few
cases, running in primaries against safe Republican incumbents). Many of
them appear to be conservative activists (Tea Party or otherwise)
running in solid blue districts because nobody else will.
are 52 races most likely to produce a new Republican House member
-- open GOP seats and Democrat-held seats, rated as "Toss-Up" or likely
Republican victories. (I'm using the latest Cook Report ratings.) In
those 50 GOP primaries, 21 have women candidates (or had; one has
already lost) -- but just 12 appear to have any realistic chance of
producing a female GOP nominee. And almost all of those are in very
tough primary fights.
Today begins a five-week
stretch in which about half the states hold their 2010 primaries. This
week brings three: Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio.
story there is pretty typical: there are a total of nine women
challengers running for House seats, only two of whom have any hope of
becoming a member of Congress in January -- and not really much hope.
The big one to watch is Jackie Walorski in Indiana's 2nd district, who
would still be a longshot to beat incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in
November, assuming she wins her primary over Jack Jordan. The other is
Jeannette Moll, in Ohio's 18th, who is unlikely to win her primary and,
if she does, would then be an underdog against incumbent Democrat Zach
Also, keep an eye on incumbent Jean Schmidt in Ohio's 2nd, who has a primary challenger. She should have no trouble winning today, but the margin might be worth noting.