The 2000 elections could produce a Democratically controlled Senate, and possibly by the narrowest margin. Thirteen seats are hotly contested in this year’s election, and Democratic candidates will need to fill 10 of those seats to reach a majority of 51. Women are fighting in some of the tightest Senate races. In Michigan, Democratic Representative Debbie Stabenow is up against Senator Spence Abraham and his soft money software giant Microsoft. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has been funneling thousands of dollars through the Michigan Chamber of Commerce to fund negative television advertisements against Stabenow. According to news reports, Microsoft and other high-tech companies have an interest in Abraham’s re-election because Abraham championed legislation that granted thousands of visas for foreign workers. Other Michigan Chamber of Commerce ads criticize Stabenow’s opposition to lessening inheritance tax–a Republican led initiative. Stabenow has been running her own television ad campaign to combat the out-of-state special interest groups. Michigan polls have Stabenow anywhere from 6 to 14 points behind Abraham, Stabenow is endorsed by a whole host of women’s PACs, including Emily’s List, NOW PAC, and NARAL PAC.
Other close races being forged by women include the New York Senate race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rick Lazio, and the Washington state race between Democrat Maria Cantwell and Incumbent Republican Senator Slade Gorton.