Women Rock the Primary Vote

Two former business titans win in California to lead a field of triumphant ladies

Whether it was Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln holding off a Democratic challenger or a crop of new female faces claiming November GOP ballot spots, Tuesday's primaries were big on girl power.

Lincoln survived to defend her seat in November, while in California, former eBay boss Meg Whitman won the GOP's gubernatorial line and ex-Hewlitt-Packard honcho Carly Fiorina took the party's Senate nod. Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle captured the right to battle Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and in South Carolina, Nikki Haley narrowly missed avoiding a GOP gubernatorial runoff in which she'll be the favorite.

  • "If there's any theme that came out of yesterday, it was not a Bad Day For Incumbents," blogged NPR's Ken Rudin. "It was, instead, a Super Tuesday For Women."
  • Noting the wealth of Fiorina and Whitman, The Christian Science Monitor found even further evidence of women's ascent in politics. "Perhaps it is a sign of how far women have advanced politically that, in some cases, they are now duking it out against other women and using self-made wealth in the process," wrote the Monitor's Linda Feldmann.
  • One woman who may have been the biggest winner wasn't even on a ballot: Sarah Palin. Politico's Andy Barr noted that three of the four candidates Palin endorsed, Fiorina, Haley and Iowa congressional candidate Terry Branstad, won or moved into a runoff. Palin proved invaluable by "spotlighting conservatives not well known to the national scene" as well as "validating conservative credentials to an unsure grassroots and even stepping in to deflect nasty attacks," Barr wrote.
  • A quirky exception to the electoral influx of estrogen was a man you probably never heard of named Alvin Greene. The unemployed black Army veteran won the South Carolina Democratic Senate primary without a web site or a campaign budget. "It wasn’t much, I mean, just, it was—it wasn’t much. Not much, I mean, it wasn’t much," Greene said when asked how much of his own money he spent in the primary. So that's how guys can win.
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