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With Whitman and Fiorina, can GOP compete again in California?

California has voted solidly Democratic in recent elections. But the national GOP may be hoping that, with Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina as standard-bearers there, the party can broaden its appeal.

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman celebrated in Anaheim June 8 after winning the GOP nomination for California governor.

Jae C. Hong/AP

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As Democrats did in 1992 – electing Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to US Senate seats – Republicans are out to grab the "Year of the Woman" mantle in 2010.

Some call the California Republican primary wins by Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman – both millionaires and former CEOs – a vote for business pragmatism by angry voters frustrated with government ineptitude in America's once-golden state. Others say the victories reflect a conscious push by the state and national Republican party to broaden its appeal to female voters and diversify the face of the GOP.

Either way, Ms. Fiorina versus Ms. Boxer and Ms. Whitman versus Jerry Brown will be two of the most highly watched political showdowns in the country from now until November.

IN PICTURES: Notable women in US politics

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