The RNC Chairman Race: Steele Wins!

In case you weren’t aware, the vote for RNC Chairman is today. The 168 members of the RNC Committee are the ones making the decision.

Here are the candidates and the conventional wisdom about each one.

Mike Duncan: He’s the current RNC Chair. He has the best relationship with the members, but no charisma and people are worried about standing pat after a bad year.

Michael Steele: He’s telegenic and well liked by the base, but he’s not a RNC member and there are some fears that he’s not conservative enough. (I think Steele “gets it” and am not concerned about his veering off to the left as Party chairman. I have seen enough of him to feel comfortable that he knows where the GOP’s bread is buttered).

Katon Dawson: He’s a strong, conservative candidate with a good track record from SC. However, he was recently a member of an all white country club. There are also people worried about putting too much of a Southern face on the party.

Saul Anuzis: He’s technologically savvy and personable, but the knock on him has been that Michigan isn’t doing very well under his leadership, so why give him a promotion?

Ken Blackwell: He’s conservative, charismatic and popular, but isn’t a RNC member and got in the race late. He’s had very strong support from big name conservatives, but ironically, that may be a negative in the clubby RNC atmosphere (Who do those outsiders think they are pressuring us?)

Chip Saltsman was Huckabee’s boy and he had very little support even before the “Magic Negro” incident. He dropped out last night and so, didn’t draw any votes.

Personally, I’d be happy with any of these men other than Duncan, although I don’t like Dawson as much as the other three who are still in the hunt..

Here’s how the voting has broken out so far.

First ballot: Duncan 48, Steele 48, Dawson 29, Anuzis 24, Blackwell 19

Second Ballot: Duncan 52, Steele 46, Dawson 28, Anuzis 22, Blackwell 20

Third Ballot: Steele 51, Duncan 44, Dawson 34, Anuzis 24, Blackwell 15

To win, one of these candidates needs to get to 85. It’s hard to know who that’ll be at this point because you’re probably not going to see major movement until someone drops out.

Update #1: Happily, Mike Duncan has now dropped out!

Update #2: 4th ballot: Dawson 62, Steele 60, Anuzis 31, Blackwell 15

If it’s down to Steele vs. Dawson, I DEFINITELY want Steele.

Update #3: Ken Blackwell is about to withdraw.

Update #4: Blackwell is out and he endorses Steele, which is a bit of a surprise because many people thought his votes would go to Dawson.

Update #5: 5th ballot: Steele 79, Dawson 69, Anuzis 20. Looks like Saul Anzuis is now in position to be the kingmaker. If his supporters break en masse for either candidate, that candidate can take it home.

Update #6: Apparently, there isn’t going to be an Anuzis endorsement.

Update #7: 6th ballot: Steele 91, Dawson 77. Hoo-rah! It’s Steele.Cue the liberals throwing Oreos, screaming “Uncle Tom,” & photoshopping him in blackface in 3, 2, 1… #tcot #rncchair

Update #8: This is one of the ads from Steele’s failed 2006 Senate campaign. Meet your new chairman, Michael Steele.

Update #9: From Steele. “We stand proud as the conservative party of the United States.”

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