Politics: The Hottest Midterm Election Races of 2010

BlogHer Original Post

Congress is the talk of the town with the election only two months away. The big topics: the economy, balance of power, and women candidates. A few governors' seats are also up for grabs with strong women contenders. We wanted to highlight some of these hot races -- particularly the ones with women candidates from both major parties.

Senate:

Barbara Boxer (D) vs. Carly Fiorina (R) in California

- Probably the best-known woman vs. woman race in the nation, veteran Senator Barbara Boxer has a real contender this time around, in Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, cancer survivor and bankroller. As part of the Republican party's push for more women candidates -- particularly with money -- Fiorina has injected large sums into the race, making it the most interesting play for the Senate from California in a long time. Boxer is being attacked for not proposing many bills of her own in her long history, yet her voting record stands with most California voters, and she has reportedly added sections to over 1000 bills. These candidates debated recently on an icy stage. I hope we see another one.

Christine O'Donnell (R) vs. Chris Coons (D) in Delaware

- Called "Palinette" and the butt of a lot of jokes of late, PR maven O'Donnell raised over $1 Million online the day after her recent primary win, showing the power of the Christian right in the Republican party. She's trying to win Joe Biden's seat vacated by his becoming vice president. Her opponent, Chris Coons, follows a more traditional political path: Yale, lawyer, county councilman.

Robin Carnahan (D) vs. Roy Blunt (R) in Missouri

- A contest between two ruling political families, Carnahan, now the Secretary of State, who is daughter of a Senator and a Governor, goes up against Blunt, a Congressman whose son currently serves as Governor. Both candidates are well liked by their respective parties in the state -- in other words, there were no contentious primaries here. However, the mud's flying. Expect this race to be a brawl until the last minute. Missouri is always full of surprises.

Linda McMahon (R) vs. Richard Blumenthal (D) in Connecticut

- McMahon, business leader from World Wrestling Entertainment, and an appointed member of the Connecticut State Board of Education, faces a former Connecticut Attorney General. McMahon is known in the public sector for launching a hugely successful voter registration campaign in 2000, registering 150,000 new voters. She plans to spend up to $50 million of her own funds on her campaign.

The wild card in Alaska

Lisa Murkowski lost the Republican nomination to run again for her Senate seat, but she's announced a write-in campaign.

House:

Tarryl Clark (D) vs. Michelle Bachmann (R), Minnesota's 6th district

- Michelle Bachmann is a force to be reckoned with, but Tarryl Clark, a state senator, got in the race against Bachmann with her eyes wide open. Willing to play offense as well as defense, Clark has bone after Bachmann for what many consider to be a loose cannon, unable to work across the aisle and pushing church and state too close together. On the other hand, Clark doesn't have the depth of experience in public office that Bachmann does.

Krystal Ball (D) vs. Rob Wittman (R), Virginia's 1st district

- In an uphill battle against an incumbent in a typically Republican state, Ball's tenacity and sharpness have given her a real chance. She's also a moderate in a race against a right wing candidate, which should play well with Virginia voters. And if she is elected, she will be the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

Stephene Moore (D) vs. Kevin Yoder (R), Kansas' 3rd district

- While a nurse might not sound like your normal candidate for Congress, Stephene Moore is no normal person. After being married to Dennis Moore, current Congressman, she knows the ins and outs of Washington politics. Unfortunately, her fundraising to date has not matched up to Yoder's.

Governor Seats:

Susana Martinez (R) vs. Diane Denish (D) in New Mexico

- Another Palin-endorsed woman candidate, Martinez has since showed herself to be somewhat more centrist (or at least that's the tone she's taking to win votes). Denish is the Lieutenant Governor, which would normally give her an edge, but many people dislike Governor Bill Richardson, so that could play as a negative.

Meg Whitman (R) vs. Jerry Brown (D) in California

- People either love Meg or they hate her. There's not much in-between. The billionaire ex-CEO of eBay has been touted as a great corporate leader, yet many disdain how she's spent over $100Million of her own money on the campaign (largely for negative TV ads), particularly since she has no government experience. Jerry Brown, on the other hand, is a career politician and part of the Democratic establishment in the state for decades. He still has a few tricks up his sleeve, being what many call a very smooth political operator.

Alex Sink (D) vs. Rick Scott (R) in Florida

- In any corporation, it would make perfect sense for the CFO to be a likely successor to CEO. Sink serves as Florida's CFO, akin to a state treasurer, previously an executive with Bank of America. She is a consumer advocate opposed to offshore drilling, now a hot issue for Florida. Her opponent, Rick Scott, originally from the Midwest, is a former healthcare executive, attorney and venture capitalist who partnered with George Bush in ownership of the Texas Rangers in the 1990s.

I'm lucky to have met five of these amazing women. I also live near two, and grew up near another, so many of these races have extra meaning for me this year, but I can't help but feel like we're embarking on a new exciting chapter in history with all of these amazing candidates. As we continue reaching out to these campaigns, we hope to provide more opportunities for BlogHer community to hear more about them and from them.

More on Politics and the Midterm Elections

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Sarah Granger blogs here and there. She is curating BlogHer's Election 2010 content, featuring women candidates and bloggers.

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