Two Senate races featuring dynamic, distinctive women are already creating a buzz even though Election Day 2012 is 14 months away. Both women declared their respective candidacies in the past week and are attracting widespread attention. Both are Democrats who aren't afraid to promote progressive ideas.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin © Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin would the Senate's first openly gay member. (Four members of the House are gay, but no one has ever been elected to the Senate who identifies as gay.) Baldwin is already a political trailblazer in Wisconsin: she's the state's first female Representative in Congress. Baldwin is recognized as one of the most liberal members of the House and she represents a constituency that includes liberal college t0wn Madison, WI and more conservative rural areas. She'll be running for an open seat being vacated by Senator Herb Kohl, also a Democrat. How she does depends on who (if any) will run against her in the primary, and what GOP opponent she'll face. National Journal's Hotline On Call takes an in-depth look at her candidacy, as does The Fix at the Washingtop Post.
Elizabeth Warren © Alex Wong/Getty Images
Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren -- who officially announced her Senate campaign today -- will have to topple a popular incumbent, Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), to win her seat. But she already possesses high name recognition as a staunch consumer advocate and the driving force behind the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The fact that President Obama did not have the stomach stand up to conservatives and nominate her to head up the agency she founded has earned her sympathy from liberals across the country, and her campaign will likely draw support (and dollars) beyond the borders of Massachusetts. Opinions on how Warren's campaign will influence the bigger picture and perhaps ignite the Democratic party can be found at the Washington Post and The Nation.