Sarah Palin scored the top spot on Forbes.com Power Women of Election 2010 list, with First Lady Michelle Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rounding out the top three. The list includes female politicians, journalists and commentators who’ve made a splash in the run-up to the midterms on November 2nd.
To compile the list of female powerhouses, Forbes.com editors “looked at both their reach — in terms of constituency and audience size — and buzz Google searches and Factiva hits.”
The list includes 11 Republican women, many of whom fall under the ‘Mama Grizzly’ label famously bolstered by pack leader Sarah Palin. Delaware’s Republican Senate nominee and Palin sound-alike Christine O’Donnell, who is gunning for Vice President Biden’s old Senate seat, is ranked 17th on the list. South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, another woman whose campaign was launched into high gear with Palin’s endorsement, fills the 8th spot. Haley is one of a record-tying 10 women running for governor this season.
Tea Party Caucus leader Michele Bachmann also made the list as one of several female candidates running against a female opponent. (Bachmann’s Democratic challenger, Tarryl Clark, is not on the list.) Forbes granted a nod to both California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and her GOP opponent, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. And while the New Mexico governor’s race hasn’t gotten as much attention as the Sunshine State showdown, Republican Susana Martinez and Democrat Diane Denish both merit a spot because one will become the first female governor of that state. There are 14 congressional and gubernatorial races this cycle in which both candidates are women.
On the Democratic side of the aisle 8 female pols made the cut and, unlike their GOP counterparts, most are incumbents. Embattled Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln, 15th on the list and one of the most vulnerable sitting members this cycle, is polling 12 points behind opponent John Boozman, according to a poll released today. Washington Senator Patti Murray is thought to have a slight lead over her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi.
As for journalists and commentators, Forbes.com showed some list love to conservative talkers Michelle Malkin, former Bush press secretary Dana Perino, and controversial radio host Laura Ingraham. Representing the left were MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and her frequent guest, Wonkette alum Ana Marie Cox.
Notably missing from the list was Christiane Amanpour, who in August of this year became the first woman to host a network Sunday show when she took over the anchor desk at ABC’s This Week. And, in what can mostly be considered a reflection of the overwhelmingly white, straight state of American politics, only 4 women of color and one lesbian, Rachel Maddow, made the cut.
Who else is missing? Who doesn’t belong? Who, in a week, will we never hear from again? Tell us in the comments!