[I]n the battle for the Senate majority, only two GOP campaigns have women in charge, and one of them is a tea party insurgent running against a sitting Republican senator backed by the NRSC. In Mississippi, Melanie Sojourner runs state Sen. Chris McDaniel's insurgent effort against Sen. Thad Cochran, while in Tennessee, Alice Rolli heads up Lamar Alexander's re-election campaign. Neither will face a viable Democratic opponent in the fall.More broadly, according to an analysis of FEC reports by the New Organizing Institute, 39.8 percent of 2012 Republican campaign staffers were women, while women were 46.4 percent of Democratic campaign staffers. Not that putting a woman at the top guarantees that a campaign will advocate policies that help women by any means, but all but shutting women out is revealing in itself.
By contrast, more than a third of the Democratic campaigns in key Senate races are led by female campaign managers – five out of 13 campaigns surveyed by National Journal. And all five are positioned in states likely to feature a marquee battle in the fall: Natalie Tennant's race in West Virginia, Sen. Mark Begich's in Alaska, John Walsh's in Montana, Rep. Bruce Braley's in Iowa, and Gary Peters in Michigan.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee's response? "It's utterly false to say that any campaign manager, male or female, has universal control of messaging on any campaign. There are candidates, pollsters, and spouses. To discount these vital female members is just offensive." Whoo-hoo! Five out of 33 Republican candidates are women; one of them is in a four-way primary and another is in a five-way primary. And spouses? Seriously? The NRSC's position is that it's offensive to point out that Republicans lack female campaign managers because many of its male candidates with male campaign managers are married to women? Guys, the issue is that the lack of female campaign managers shows Republicans aren't promoting women as high-ranking campaign professionals. Cindy McCain and Ann Romney aren't exactly a rebuttal to that.