There is understandable excitement among Republican women this year because they have high-profile women candidates running for state-wide office in CA, NV and SC. Linda Feldman of The Christian Science Monitor even has a feature article entitled “Tuesday primaries: Year of the Republican woman dawning?,” and the hopes of GOP women are high that Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Sharon Angle and Nikki Haley will up the ante when all of the primary votes are counted today.
According to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), however, the Republicans still have a ways to go before they can make a convincing case that the GOP is the party that speaks to the aspirations of American women. According to CAWP’s most recent tally, for example, here is a breakdown of women office-holders by party:
13 Democratic women U.S. senators, vs. 4 Republicans
56 Democratic women House of Reps. members, vs. 17 Republicans
3 Democratic women Governors, 3 Republican women Governors
4 Democratic women Attorneys General, vs. 0 Republican women A.G.’s
50 Democratic women holding statewide office in the U.S., vs. 21 Republican women
70.5 percent of women state senators are Democrats, vs. 27.2 percent Republicans
70.3 percent of women state legislators are Democrats, vs. 29.4 percent Republicans
It’s an interesting phenomenon. You would think some smart journalist would call out the Republicans and ask them to explain the gap between the two parties. For Dems, however, our goal should be to recruit and elect more women candidates until something resembling gender parity among Democratic office-holders is a reality.