"Year Of The GOP Woman" Watch

The GOP needs to gain 39 net seats in the US House of Representatives to take majority control. That's in addition to the 20 open Republican seats that need to be filled; but Democrats are likely to win two of those, plus knock off two Republcan incumbents; and plus you have to factor in a GOP incumbent beaten in the primary...

Well, I'll cut to the chase: a net gain of 39 seats probably equates to 62 freshman Republicans elected tomorrow.

Based on what the national pundits are saying, we can identify which 62 those are most likely to be: 18 who will win open GOP seats, all of whom are male; 1 who defeated an incumbent in the GOP primary, also male; and the 43 Democratic seats considered most likely to flip.

Using the new National Journal rankings, which are pretty consistent with other analysts, the 43 most likely blue-to-red shifts include just 3 races that would put Republican women in Congress: Diane Black in Tennessee (ranked #1), Sandy Adams in Florida (#15), and Jaime Herrera (#25).

In that scenario, just 3 of 62 GOP freshmen would be women, or under 5%. The total GOP caucus next year would have 18 women out of 218 Republicans, or 8%.

There are, however, several women who are right in the next batch on the list after the 43rd theoretically puts Republicans over the edge: Vicky Hartzler of Missouri (#46), Martha Roby of Alabama (#48), and Kristi Noem (#54). So, if Republicans have a net gain of 50, as some are predicting, we could see 6 women among 73 GOP freshmen, or 8%, with a total of 21 women out of 229 Republicans, for 9%.

And if there's a real tsunami, as some suspect, you could see Nan Hayworth (#60) Mariennette Miller-Meeks (#70), Jackie Walorski (#74), and Ruth McClung (#79) -- and perhaps even Ann Buerkle, Renee Ellmers, or Anna Little, none of whom made the National Journal's list.

Yes, I'm using the rankings for dramatic effect -- obviously, the races are not going to go in the exact tidy order of the Journal list. 

But you get the idea: Republicans are presumably about to elect a whole big bunch of new House members, who will be overwhelmingly -- probably over 90% -- male.

That's fine, there's nothing that says the GOP needs to make any effort to combat its image as the political party for men. But it does mean that anybody claiming that this is the Year of the Republican Woman is going to have little to back up that claim tomorrow night.

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