Some call it the culmination of the American political process, others call it Bullshit Christmas Eve — however you swing it, tonight, we come to the end of the three ring binder circus that we call the election season (you know, barring excessive, obnoxious litigation. Which is likely). But while we were all distracted by the threat of Mitt Romney's congenital weirdness ascending to the White House, there were quite a few other races going on, many of which involved women. Let's take a look at some female candidates we may be seeing a lot more — or less — of in the very near future.
Cheri Bustos (D)/Bobby Schilling (R)
Illinois' 17th Congressional District
The race is pretty close, and it's not certain that Bustos will unseat Bobby Schilling, who is a Tea Partier and an adult man who goes by the name "Bobby" and who has referred to Bustos as "mean." (Adult men who go by "Bobby" or "Willie" or "Johnny" are almost invariably suspect). Plus, Cheri Bustos is an ex-athlete, ex-journalist working mom who is married to a cop and can sink a no-look shot.
I MEAN. If the usually-Democratic Illinois' 17th District can't get it together enough to vote this woman into office, then they deserve a Tea Partying Bobby.
Her chances: The district leans blue, but she's been behind by single digits in the polls.
Elizabeth Warren (D)/Scott Brown (R)
Warren is a painfully intelligent Harvard professor with a huge crush on the middle class and a rich guy bullshit detector at a level never before seen in the Senate's recent history (Maybe Paul Wellstone came close). Scott Brown is a guy who pretends to be a reasonable moderate Republican who believes in things like climate change and thinks the idea of a "rape exception" is absurd. And the race got very, very ugly.
Her chances: This, the most expensive Senate race ever, was tighter than the lid on a pickle jar . Most polls say Warren's starting to pull it out, but Brown's got the lead in at least one taken during the week before the election. Guess we'll have to wait and see which one God loves best.
Tammy Baldwin (D)/Tommy Thompson (R)
If elected, Baldwin — one of the most progressive members of the US House of Representatives — will become the first openly gay Senator elected to a first term. Thompson is an ex-Bush buttboy and, as long term governor of America's Dairyland, appeared on the back of all of the free Wisconsin road maps my parents used to argue over on road trips to Door County and Pattison Park when I was a kid.
After trailing Thompson, Baldwin leads by an itty bitty bit in most polls, but in at least one, she's tied, according to RealClearPolitics. This is significant because people like Tammy Baldwin give people like Todd Akin actual rashes. Wisconsin's kind of a political wild card of late, too — they've got that nutty Koch puppet governor, all those elected officials who kept saying stupid crap about domestic violence victims and divorce, plus the "rape easy" guy, but this side of a decade ago they were voting people like Russ Feingold into office. If she wins, though, big lesbian party.
Mia Love (R)/Jim Matheson (D)
Utah's 4th District
Well, there's one bright spot for Tea Partiers in this election that might see Elizabeth Warren and big lezzy lesbian Tammy Baldwin join the Senate — Mia Love, a black Mormon Tea Partier (AND A UNICORN) might join the House of Representatives. As mayor of a rapidly growing Utah town, she successfully helped her town avoid the pratfalls of rapid expansion and spoke powerfully at this year's Republican National Convention.
Her chances: Things are looking pretty good for the Republican who has vowed to join the Black Congressional Caucus and then dismantle it from within. After trailing for much of the campaign, she's up 12 points over incumbent Matheson in the most recent poll.
Amy Klobuchar (D)/Kurt Bills (R)
Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and is Minnesota's first elected female Senator.
Her chances:RealClearPolitics doesn't even bother to feature this race in its EXCITING CONTESTS drop down menu. That's how big a blowout it is. Incumbent Klobuchar is up by over 30 in some polls. Kurt Bills is the Washington Generals to Klobuchar's Harlem Globetrotters.
Michele Bachmann (R)/ Jim Graves (D)
Minnesota's 6th District
After spending thousands of words making fun of how crazy she is, I feel a sort of affinity to Bachmann, who is easily one of the most racist, fearmongering, horrible people currently serving in the US government. And so while she's bad for America, she's good for people who like to make fun of America in an attempt to shame it into being better, and her presence in Congress has offered a crucial overt connection from the subtle dog whistle talk of non-insane Republicans and the horrible things they actually mean.
Her chances: Bachmann's district is so conservative that it's embarrassing to most Minnesotans that I know, and she's still polling ahead in the race against Graves. Pollsters say she's likely to narrowly retain her seat.
Tammy Duckworth (D)/ Joe Walsh (R)
Illinois' 8th District
Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq war veteran who lost both of her legs in combat. Joe Walsh is a xenophobic Tea Party bullshitter who was once sued for $100,000 in unpaid child support and has complained that his legless opponent talked about her time serving her country "too much." Walsh also believes that there should be no abortion allowed under any circumstances, even to save the life of the mother, because thanks to science, women don't die from pregnancy or childbirth complications anymore. It should also be noted that Joe Walsh, Science Fan, does not believe in global warming.
Her chances: Duckworth is up in recent polling, and Joe Walsh is a jackass. Things are looking good for Duckworth.
Kyrsten Sinema (D)/ Vernon Parker (R)
Arizona's 9th District
Kyrsten Sinema is an unmarried, openly bisexual, openly not religious, proudly pro-choice, openly pro-LGBT state legislator running for the US House. Let that sink in for a second. Openly bisexual. Openly nontheist. OPENLY PRO LGBT. NOT MARRIED! She's the opposite of Michele Bachmann. She can't possibly have a shot at winning an election in Arizona, right?
Her chances: Sit down for a second, guys: Sinema is probably going to win. A vein in Jan Brewer's forehead just popped.
Shelley Berkeley (D)/ Dean Heller (R)
Berkeley sort of kind of gives off a Nancy Pelosi vibe, and Dean Heller sort of kind of gives off a backup singer on Lawrence Welk vibe. Since the average American voter is approximately 102 years old and wants to deliver a strong FUCK YOU to the youths before they die, guess which one is more electorally viable?
Her chances:Barring some record setting Latino/Obama turnout, Berkeley is going to have a hard time picking up the seat for Democrats — most recent polls show here behind by small single digits.
Linda McMahon (R)/Chris Murphy (D)
The fact that Linda McMahon has pretended to kick guys in the junk and gotten piledrived (piledriven?) will never not be hilarious. The fact that she invented the term "emergency rape?" Less hilarious.
Her chances: In a last-ditch effort to overcome her polling deficit, she's released an ad where she is pictured next to Obama and positioned like a pragmatic centrist. Not sure that Connecticut voters will buy it.
Mazie Hirono (D)/Linda Lingle (R)
Congresswoman Hirono is the former lieutenant governor of Hawaii. She came to the US as a child, when she and her mother fled domestic abuse in Japan. If elected, Hirono will be Hawaii's first female Senator. If she's not elected, Lingle will become Hawaii's first female Senator. I guess that's how a woman-woman Senate race works.
Her chances: Hirono is up by double digits in almost ever recent poll. So unless everyone in Hawaii except for Linda Lingle's family comes down with a cold on election day, Hirono will be the state's newest Senator. Yet another immigrant taking jobs away from white guys.
Claire McCaskill (D)/Todd Akin (Human fart)
Senator Claire McCaskill's reelection chances looked tough at the beginning of 2012, but after a hotly contested Republican primary, the always reliably insane GOP primary base selected Todd Akin as their candidate of choice. And the next part is legitimate rape history.
Her chances: The last poll showed McCaskill up 15 points over elderly fetus Todd Akin. If that's not enough, McCaskill's got the best "bitch, please" face of all time, which will definitely put her over the top.