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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Can Threat of GOP Surge in Polls Help Energize Women?

Lisa Mascaro of the L.A. Times Washington, D.C. Bureau has a wake up call for women political activists and all voters who believe more women are needed in congress. Madcaro’s article, “Women in Washington, Your Seats Are at Risk,” lends veracity to the recent Democratic slogan, “You put it in ‘D’ to go forward and ‘R’ for reverse.” As Mascaro explains:

…With this fall’s midterm elections, the number of women serving in Congress could drop for the first time in a generation — a twist on a political season many had dubbed “the year of the woman.”
If large numbers of Democratic incumbents lose in November, as expected, many women could be replaced by men. Female candidates tend to do better in Democratic years, and 2010 is shaping up as a successful year for Republicans.
Women now hold 90 seats in Congress: 69 are Democrats and 21 are Republicans. After the November election, Congress could end up with as many as 10 fewer female members, prognosticators now say, the first backslide in the uninterrupted march of women to Washington since 1978.

An unfavorable reversal of a three decades trend is a sobering thought for advocates of women’s political empowerment. And it’s not as if Republicans have much interest in making up the slack on their side of the aisle, as Mascaro reports:

In fact, just four women are among the GOP’s 46 “Young Guns,” as the party calls its frontline challengers who are considered future leaders.

So much for the “Mama Grizzlies” hype. The Republican Party remains a bastion of male dominance and if they win big in November, the GOP will further diminish the political empowerment of women in Washington.
All of which should serve as a rallying cry for all activists who believe America would be well-served by more women office-holders to (a.) contribute to the DSCC, DCCC and Democratic candidates and (b.) redouble campaign activism on their behalf.

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