Will 2012 Be Year of the Woman in Politics?

More women are running for senator than ever, but losses could mean a serious backslide in numbers.

By Lesley Kennedy • MORE.com Reporter

We’re the first to say Congress could use a more womanly touch, but how will the 2012 election turn out, gender-wise? Well, it’s a toss-up.

The New York Times reports the highest number of female incumbents in history is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, but many are Democrats and could lose their seats in the political struggle. Oh, and that record number? It’s a seriously scant seven—six Democrats and one Republican incumbent. Five other women are presumed nominees for their party in races for Senate seats, and another woman is weighing a run, according to the Times.

“If it is a bad year for Democrats, it could be a bad year for women in the Senate,” Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, tells the newspaper. “It is still early. Right now the numbers are lining up in such a way that it could go either way.”

The Times notes that in the present Congress, just 17 senators and 72 members of the House of Representatives are women.

Which reminds us of the saying, “Some leaders are born women.” Isn’t it about time to move from “some” to “many”?

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First Published October 21, 2011

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