This year the GOP has nominated more female candidates than in any previous election cycle. The number of GOP women running for U.S. House or Senate seats has doubled over the past two years. In California, Republicans nominated Carly Fiorina to run for Senate and Meg Whitman to run for governor. In New Mexico, Sussana Martinez was nominated by the Republicans to run for governor. Linda McMahon, who formerly headed World Wrestling Entertainment, is the GOP Senate nominee in Connecticut. In Nevada, former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle was nominated by the Republicans to run against the Liberal Democratic standard bearer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. An unwavering conservative, Angle seeks to cut federal waste by eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education. A recent Rasmussen poll put her in a dead heat with Reid by a 50 to 49 margin. In South Carolina, Nikki Haley won the primary run-off and now faces Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the November election.
Of course the conservative queen-maker and Tea Party standard bearer was Sarah Palin. Two of the recent primaries’ biggest winners, Fiorina and Nikki Haley, were endorsed by Palin. This past week, Palin threw her support behind three more female GOP candidates, whom she called “liberty-loving Mama Grizzlies.” For the first time in history, the conservative movement and the Republic Party are headlined by women rather than middle aged white men.
This marks quite a change. Since the 1960’s civil right movements, American woman tended to sympathize with the liberal policies of the Democratic Party and identify themselves as Democrats; 41% of American woman identify themselves as Democrats compared to 25% who identify themselves as Republicans. The Democratic Party platform promotes equal social and economic outcomes with an emphasis on woman’s rights and liberal social policies. These policies are designed to appeal to the disenfranchised members of society, which formerly included most women. Furthermore, women played a prominent role in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party from Bela Abzug to Nancy Pelsoi.