GOP Women Still Struggling

For my obsessive interest in the ongoing extinction of elected Republican women, the big news from yesterday's primaries was the apparent defeat of incumbent US Senator Lisa Murkowski. Apparent, because it's close and Alaska is a wacky state where votes come in from the hinterlands by sled or something. But as of this moment it sounds like she's going to lose (and could not get her name on the ballot as an independent).

That means the only returning women in the Republican Senate caucus will be the two Maine moderates, and Hutchison who reneged on her vow to resign after losing the gubernatorial primary.

Now, as for the US House of Representatives. Five women won in the 35 GOP district primaries yesterday, but the only one that matters is state rep Sandy Adams, who won (by some 600 votes) the right to take on vulnerable first-termer Suzanne Kosmas thanks to the other two completely whacked-out Republican candidates pummeling each other in the final campaign stretch.

On the Y-chromosome side of the score sheet, it's worth noting that thanks to a four-district sweep yesterday, men have now won the GOP nomination in 19 of the 20 Republican-held districts being left open by the GOP incumbent. The 20th, in Deleware, has its primary on Sept. 14, which might be won by a woman -- but that's the one open GOP seat thought to be a likely Democratic takeover. Oops!

For the totals-so-far, I'm going to include Louisiana, even though it's primary isn't until this weekend; there are no Republican women running for Congress there anyway. So, consider this your YTD summary up until the 9/14 primaries.

Total Congressional districts that have held primaries so far: 375 (86%)

Women nominated by the GOP in those 375 races: 42 (11%)

Of those 42....

Incumbents: 15

Challengers in safe Democratic districts: 18

Challengers in likely- or lean-Democrat districts: 6 (Roby AL2; Rankin AR4; Walorski IN2; Hartzler MO4; Ellmers, NC2; Noem SD-AL)

Challengers in 'tossup' races: 2 (Adams FL24; Herrera WA3)

Challengers in GOP-leaning races: 1 (Black TN6)

And by the way, that's it for the (currently rated tossup or better races; of the few left to have their primaries, only one has a woman running, and that's Jennifer Horn in New Hampshire, who looks like she's going to lose.

Here's another way to look at it. If Republicans win every House race rated by Cook (as of 8/17) 'tossup' or GOP advantage, they would elect 62 freshmen, for a net gain of 42 seats, taking the House majority with 220. Of the 62 freshmen, 4 would be women, or 6%. Of the 220 total, 19 would be women, or a little over 8%.

And it doesn't get better if the GOP sweeps even bigger -- of the next 60 potentially winning races, women have won the GOP nomination in 5, with 4 more possibilities in 9/14 primaries.

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