I've been out to a few women in politics meetings recently, one very local and one regional. The first was a lot of fun. I had a chance to catch up with some people, meet a few candidates, and eat some good food (the cupcakes were overdecorated but the little cheesecakes were very good). The larger event gave me a chance to meet some movers and shakers and talk to a congressional candidate I've been tracking, as well as a visiting dignitary.
One constant between the two extremes was Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz who seems equally at ease with both audiences. When she was elected to the Pennsylvania state senate she was only the third woman to serve there. She is currently one of two women representing Pennsylvania in Congress. Generally speaking Pennsylvania doesn't do well in electing women to public office, at least at the state and national level. Schwartz is taking her trailblazer role seriously and does a lot of mentoring.
If you know a woman you think would be a great elected official, you might refer her to (or leave her name at) www.sheshouldrun.com.
Another group to keep in mind is womens' voices womens' votes (http://www.wvwv.org). They recently sent around an email noting research on unmarried women as a voting bloc:
I wanted to let you know about the recent research Women's Voices. Women Vote is doing on potential "drop-off" voters in the 2010 midterm elections. Drop-off voters are voters who do not vote in a midterm election after having voted in the previous presidential election. Our research is particularly focused on potential drop-off voting among members of what we have termed the Rising American Electorate or RAE. The RAE is comprised of Unmarried women (the largest portion), African Americans, Latinos, other people of color, and Youths (18-29 yr olds). There are 107 million eligible RAE voters: That's 52% of the entire voting-eligible population in the United States today. These are the voters whose continued involvement in electoral politics is so critical after their record breaking participation in 2008.
Our early research suggests that there could be 22 million fewer RAE voters nationwide in 2010. WVWV's projections show that while RAE voters comprised 46.6% of the electorate in 2008, they may only comprise 40.9% of the electorate in 2010. This difference in share of the electorate is about who does and does not turn out to vote and these changes can and will dramatically impact election results.
WVWV is committed to keeping the RAE engaged in the democratic process and is at the forefront of analyzing who will turn out to vote in the 2010 midterm elections. To see our work on drop-off voters and the composition of the 2010 electorate, as well as state by state analyses, you can click here and here or visit www.wvwv.org.