Five Lady Candidates to Watch: Election Countdown Edition

With less than a month to election day, we’re checking in with some of the most fascinating candidates and closest races.

Last month, we gave you a list of 11 female congressional candidates hitting the campaign trail this season. Now, with less than a month to election day, we're checking in with some of the most fascinating candidates and closest races.

Tammy Baldwin (D) – Wisconsin Senate (Pictured)

Numbers: You would think Republican governor Scott Walker's recall victory a few months ago would have provided some GOP momentum. But Baldwin is neck-in-neck with former governor Tommy Thompson. Yesterday's Quinnipiac University/New YorkTimes/CBS News poll shows her 2 points ahead.

History at Stake: If elected, she'd be Wisconsin's first female and openly gay senator.

Latest Drama: One of Thompson's campaign advisers sent out an email of Tammy Baldwin dancing at a gay pride parade. Other than that, though, her sexuality hasn't been front-and-center.

Home Stretch Strategy: Back in August, Baldwin released

a slew of negative ads
 about Thompson, while Thompson battled in a bloody primary fight. Now she's enjoying the fruits of her labor.

Mia Love (R) – Utah's 4th district

Numbers: The

latest polls
 show Love leading the six-term Democratic congressman, Rep. Jim Matheson, 49 percent to 43 percent. This is after she was trailing him by double digits back in August.

History at Stake: She'd been the first Black GOP congresswoman if elected—and the first Black Mormon woman in Congress, too.

Latest Drama: Mother Jones recently

unearthed a comment
 she made to the Deseret News saying her U.S. citizenship was her Haitian "family's ticket to America"—aka the kind of "anchor baby" Republicans routinely deride. Love says she doesn't recall saying that.

Home Stretch Strategy: Love is toeing the fiscal party line, and getting some mighty support from GOP superstars in return.

Linda McMahon (R) – Connecticut's 5th congressional district

Numbers: The latest

Rasmussen poll
 shows Rep. Chris Murphy leading Linda McMahon 46 to 51, but the race has been push-and-pull for months.

History at Stake: None—the district often swings both ways.

Latest Drama: This race has grabbed headlines as one of the most vitriolic races in the country. During the first debate, Murphy accused McMahon of lifting her jobs plan from other conservative groups, and McMahon shot back: "Shame on you…You thought this campaign was going to be a coronation because you're a Democrat running in Connecticut. Now you're in a serious race with a serious woman. And you are desperate."

Home Stretch Strategy: Now that the race is closing in, both Murphy and McMahon have been focusing on women voters, who are key to the candidate who declares victory.

Tammy Duckworth (D) – Illinois' 6th congressional district

Numbers: Duckworth and her opponent, Rep. Joe Walsh are in a dead heat, although a

recent flashpoll
 revealed him to be ever-so-slightly ahead.

History at Stake: Duckworth, a double amputee and Iraq war veteran, would be the the state's first Asian-American U.S. representative.

Latest Drama: Tuesday's debate got heated when Walsh called Duckworth a "failed bureacrat" and (bizarrely) flaunted a photo of her picking out a dress for the DNC.

Home Stretch Strategy: Judging by the last debate, both Duckworth and Walsh seem willing to roll in the mud down to the bitter end.

Elizabeth Warren (D) – Massachusetts Senate

Numbers: The race is close, but

two recent polls
 showed Warren's opponent, Sen. Scott Brown, leading by 2 or 3 points.

History at Stake: Warren wouldn't technically be breaking through any barriers, but this high-profile race with the Godmother of Occupy Wall Street represents a deafening clash between two economic ideologies.

Latest Drama: In late September, Brown accused Warren of writing "Native American" on law school documents years ago. (Warren shot back that she never used that identity for personal gain.)

Home Stretch Strategy: The Warren campaign's latest ads continue to paint Brown as a friend of millionaires.

Nona Willis Aronowitz

Nona Willis Aronowitz is an editor and writer who thinks a lot about love, sex and politics. She tweets at @nona.