Meanwhile, Still No GOP Women

The big story in today's primaries will be the Republican Senate race in Indiana, where long-time Senator Dick Lugar is expected to lose his primary to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. The second biggest story is the North Carolina referendum to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage -- and, in fact, all domestic unions other than heterosexual marriage -- which is expected to pass.

But for those who, like me, obsess over the lack of GOP women in elected office, there are a few things of interest.

The two Senate races on the ballot today will both produce male Republican nominees: either Lugar or Mourdock in Indiana, and in West Virginia John Raese has a clear field to challenge, and probably lose to, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.

All three states hold gubernatorial elections this year -- and Republicans have legitimate interest in all three. Indiana and North Carolina are open seats, and in West Virginia the Republican incumbent has been there only two years, since Manchin became Senator.

No women are running in any of the three GOP gubernatorial primaries. And it's men only in almost every other state-wide GOP primary today, for LG, Secretary, AG, and Treasurer. There is a Republican woman running for Auditor in North Carolina.

There are 25 congressional districts in the three states. Three of the 25 have female Republican incumbents, who should probably breeze through their primaries today: Renee Ellmers and Virginia Foxx in North Carolina, and Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia.

Of the other 22 districts, eight have incumbent (male) Republicans running for re-election. These are obviously poor opportunities, although Kristi Risk is taking a long-shot stab at toppling Larry Bucshon in IN-8.

Another eight have incumbent Democrats running for re-election, most of which are not great opportunities. Still, it's notable that only one woman is running in all of those districts -- the wonderfully named Cat Ping -- and she has no chance in today's IN-7 primary.

Then there are six good opportunies for a woman Republican to get elected to Congress: three open Democratic seats, all more or less competitive; and three open Republican seats, which are golden opportunities.

In the open-D seats, Jackie Walorski, who failed in 2010, is the best chance. She's running again in IN-2 and should cruise in today's primary. Susan Harris is running in a crowded primary in Heath Shuler's open NC-11. No GOP women in the third, NC-13.

In the three open-Rs, the only Republican woman running is former US Attorney Susan Brooks, who is competitive in a tough IN-5 primary for Dan Burton's seat.

No GOP women in IN-6 (Mike Pence) or NC-9 (Sue Myrick). As usual, the plum GOP opportunities go to men. NC-9 is a sad symbol; a Republican woman is retiring, and the GOP field to replace her is 11 men, no women.

To update (see my previous wrap-up here): after today, 96 congressional districts will have held their primaries. Currently, there are seven Republican women in those 96 seats. That number will probably drop to between four and six after the 2012 elections.

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