Will N.H. Produce the Country's First All-Female Delegation? (And Other Races To Watch.)

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 5 2012 1:07 PM

Women To Watch: Congressional Race Edition

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Feel the Love

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Tomorrow we vote. Or not. This is the fun part. Here is a random assortment of entertaining races to bet on as you wait in an endless line at your nearest polling station.

Mia Love vs. Jim Matheson

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Mia Love is a Haitian-American Mormon Republican running for Congress against the son of Utah’s former governor in the state’s fourth district. Thanks to national interest in Love, who gave a well-received speech at the RNC, Utahans have been subjected to their first $10-million House race. Love appears to be winning. If she pulls it off, she’ll be the first black Republican woman in the House, and tomorrow will likely be a very bad day to be the son of a governor.

Tammy Baldwin vs. Tommy Thompson

Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, formerly the state's governor and George W.'s Secretary of HHS, has been running increasingly desperate flaming-twin-tower-themed ads against Tammy Baldwin, but none of them mention her sexual orientation because no one in Wisconsin cares. Baldwin was the first woman to represent the state in Congress, and if she wins she'll be the first openly gay Senator.

Carol Shea-Porter vs. Frank Guinta and Ann McLane Kuster vs. Charlie Bass

New Hampshire already has two female senators, Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D). If Democrats Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster win the state’s only two congressional seats, New Hampshire will be a matriarchal dystopia in which men are farmed out for their sexual services and immediately discarded. Kuster is winning handily, and Shea-Porter is tied, which means it is within the realm of the possible that we will soon see the country's first all-female delegation. And should you be heretofore unconvinced that men are ending in New Hampshire, I introduce you to the gubernatorial race.

Michele Bachmann vs. Jim Graves

There has been a lot of talk about this being her “toughest race yet,” but come Wednesday you will almost certainly still have Minnesota's Michele Bachmann to kick around. Hotelier Jim Graves tried to convince constituents that Bachmann was “distracted by her own celebrity.” But Bachmann’s distracting celebrity is precisely why she is among the most successful fundraisers in the House. There are no interesting “firsts” here, so let’s say Michele Bachmann will be the first former Swiss citizen to be thrice re-elected to Congress.

Heidi Heitkamp vs. Rick Berg

North Dakota's “feisty,” “down home,” and “backslapping” Heidi Heitkamp is challenging Republican Rep. Rick Berg for North Dakota's open Senate seat. Berg was thought to be secure until suddenly threatened by the aforementioned feisty down-home backslappingness. Heitkamp has made the race competitive in part by supporting the Keystone Pipeline, criticizing the Affordable Care Act, and generally trying to ward off any hint of association with Barack Obama.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.