This was not the vision that Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, had in mind two months after the November 2014 elections. That’s when I saw her speak on a panel discussion, pointedly held at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters, as a group called Political Parity unveiled new research and a plan to elect more women to Congress.

Since becoming RNC co-chair in 2011, Day has taken it upon herself to champion the cause of getting more Republican women in office. Prior to that, she said, “the job of co-chair was to talk to the women’s clubs.”

Political Parity, Ambassador Swanee Hunt’s nonpartisan foundation advocating women in politics, had decided to look into the massive, partisan gender gap in elected officials. The foundation’s director, Marni Allen, summed up their findings succinctly: “The primary reason,” she said, “is the primary itself.”

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