Good Week For GOP Women Candidates

We do have a primary today, but it's just Idaho so nobody's paying much attention -- although there is a good GOP primary fight in a Dem-held district that's a must-win for Republicans if they hope to have their big wave victory in November. As far as Republican women on the ballot, there are two for Governor and one for the state's other Congressional district -- all running hopeless campaigns against Republican incumbents. There's also state controller Donna Jones running for re-election, who has a fairly legit primary opponent but will presumably win.

Next Tuesday we have a few interesting primaries to watch in Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico, but I'll save that for another time and write instead about the big boost a number of Republican women candidates this week.

For starters, the two original frontrunners in the two big California primary contests -- governor and US Senate -- appear to be back in charge entering the final stretch run to the June 8 vote: businesswomen Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, respectively.

In Connecticut, another successful businesswoman, Linda McMahon, got the endorsement of the state convention for US Senate, which led Rob Simmons to -- surprisingly -- honor his pledge to withdraw. Barring a surprise Simmons re-entrance (which he kind of seemed to leave the door open to), McMahon will face the Democratic nominee -- which leads us to McMahon's other windfall, which was Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam-tales fiasco. It seems that Blumenthal is surviving, damaged but not slain, but is no longer the sure-fire winner he once looked like.

In the South Carolina Governor's race, Niki Haley has vaulted to a lead in the primary polling -- helped at least in part by an endorsement and appearance from Sarah Palin, who is doing the same for several conservative women candidates. Haley may or may not be hurt by a new infidelity claim.

Then there's the Nevada Senate primary, where original frontrunner Sue Lowden has been caught by the other woman in the race, Sharron Angle (with Danny Tarkanian still in the mix). Plus, incumbent governor Jan Brewer has taken a lead in both her primary and general-election polls, following her signing of the controversial immigrration law.

That's a lot of improved prospects in a short time. There have been some bad turns, too: Lowden, for one; Jane Norton's dwindling lead in the Colorado Senate primary; Paula Dockery dropping out of the Florida governor race. But still, a good week.

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