The Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics has its tally of national congressional primaries out, and below the topline news of a record number of female nominees, the party split is enormous.
Non-incumbent women nominees for the US House break down as 71 Democrats, 26 Republicans. That's close to a 3:1 margin.
TAMPA--I was already through the doors and into the lobby of the Hyatt yesterday afternoon before it clicked, and I went back out and asked the woman at the curb if she was Martha Zoller, congressional candidate from Georgia. She was (which tells you something about my obsession with this topic), and she was nice enough to speak me for a few minutes, even though her ride was just pulling up.
It's time we all start accepting, and publicly stating, what is clearly true: the Republican Party is institutionally sexist.
I'm not talking about policy. I'm talking about the regular, long-term, systemic lack of opportunities for women to advance within the institution.
It seems to me that if any large organization was found to hire, promote, and advance women only 10 to 15 percent of the time -- one woman hired or promoted for every eight to ten men -- over a period of many years, and if that rate was actually declining, then you would have to say that, barring some other clear prevailing justification, there is something institutionally sexist going on there.
In response to some who have asked, regarding my earlier post...
In the 48 districts holding primaries today, eight are currently represented by Democratic women. Of those eight, seven are running for re-election and are considered safe. (The other, Tammy Baldwin, is running for US Senate.)
Women are running in 9 other districts, at least 4 of whom have reasonably good chances of winning the primary and the November general election.
Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, and Wisconsin go to the polls today, with primaries in 48 congressional districts. Currently 3 of those 48 districts are represented by Republican women; that number could decline to 2 when all is said and done.
That's because redistricting has put one of the three, Sandy Adams, into an incumbent-vs.
Sarah Steelman narrowly lost the Republican Senate primary in Missouri yesterday, so now is a good time to update the prospects for GOP women in the upper chamber. Last week I gave you the status for the US House. (The big change on that side yesterday was the nomination of Ann Wagner in Missouri, who becomes the third likely gain of the cycle, against at least two departures.
Yesterday was the start of the latter portion of the congressional primary season -- states typically hold their primaries either in the spring or fall, so we've had a bit of a break in July. Yesterday Georgia held its primaries, and Texas ran its runoffs; tomorrow Tennessee goes, and then Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington next Tuesday.
Five states held their primaries yesterday, with 26 congressional districts at stake, and guess what? Women came up empty, 0-for-26, in the GOP primaries.
We're nowmore than half-way through the primaries, with 251 districts down and 184 to go. A grand total of 24 women have been crowned as the Republican nominee. Another district, TX-34, has a runoff between two women, so that's 25, and another district, TX-14, has one woman in a runoff.
Texas, which holds its primaries today, currently has a whopping 32 congressional districts, 23 of which are held by Republicans. Put another way, close to 10 percent of all the 242 US House Republicans represent Texas. After decennial reapportionment, Texas gets four additional districts beginning with this year's elections.
There are a couple of interesting primaries today for those who share my interest in women GOP candidates.
But first, let me catch up, because I didn't update last week on this. There was a major plus for those interested in seeing more Republican women in high elected office -- in a surprise, Deb Fischer won the GOP Senate primary in Nebraska, likely meaning that she will become a US Senator.
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.
Earlier this week (while I was off on vacation) there were some Presidential primaries, which you probably heard about. There were also some primaries for congressional races, which leads me to update the status of women Republicans running for seats in the US House of Representatives -- which I suggested a month ago is not looking very promising for those hoping to see some improvement on the current rate of just 10% of House Republicans.
Olympia Snowe's surprise retirement announcement yesterday gives me an obvious excuse to finally start serious blogging for this cycle about one of my great obsessions, women Republicans in elected office.
As some of you might recall, and others can feel free to peruse, I devoted a considerable amount of energy and blog space to the topic in the 2010 cycle -- even more than usual.
Thus far, seven states have held their 2010 congressional primaries (IL, IN, NE, NC, OH, TX, & WV), deciding nominees in 97 of the country's 435 districts.
By my count, a total of 25 women ran as Republicans in 21 of those districts, including six incumbents. Those six incumbents, plus four other women, won their party nominations.