Female Trouble

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  June 3, 2009

Further down the ballot, where the "pipeline" of future successful candidates is found, things are even worse. The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, which tracks candidates nationwide, currently lists only three Republican women expected to run for Congress next year, compared with 11 Democrats.

In state legislatures, the number of female Republicans has plummeted from 640 to 536 in just the last five years, according to CAWP. And of the 11 women now holding the title of Senate president or Speaker of the House in a state legislature — including Massachusetts's Therese Murray — every one is a Democrat.

That means that, for years to come, Republicans will be hard-pressed to find anyone but men to put on TV to make their case, which will only reinforce the stereotypes. That's terrible for the GOP, but probably good for future Sotomayors and Ledbetters.

To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com.

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