I am currently watching the election for Republican National Committee Chairman. Currently, the RNC members are voting.
UPDATE (11:40 A.M. EST): They are now going up and depositing their ballots (just like “kindergarten graduation” according to the Co-Chair, Jo Ann Davidson, from Ohio).
UPDATE (11:44 A.M. EST): We’re a little over half-way through the ballots being cast.
UPDATE (11:49 A.M. EST): We’re now done with the voting. The ballots are now being counted.
UPDATE (12:05 P.M. EST): They’re annnouncing the results.
UPDATE (12:09 P.M. EST): Here are the results of the first round of voting:
Mike Duncan: 52 votes
Michael Steele: 46 votes
Katon Dawson: 28 votes
Saul Anuzis: 22 votes
Ken Blackwell: 20 votes
With no candidates having reached 85 votes (a simple majority), another round of voting will occur. The committee is in a 15 minute recess.
UPDATE (12:33 P.M. EST): Calling the roll again.
UPDATE (12:42 P.M. EST): I lied – they’re voting now. Almost done casting the ballots.
UPDATE (12:45 P.M. EST): The ballots are now being counted.
UPDATE (12:59 P.M. EST): The following are the results for the second roud of balloting (numbers in parenthesis indicate: votes gained or lost from last round / votes gained or lost since first round):
Mike Duncan: 48 votes (-3/-3)
Michael Steele: 48 votes (+2/+2)
Katon Dawson: 29 votes (+1/+1)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (+2/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 19 votes (-1/-1)
UPDATE (1:12 P.M. EST): OK, I guess it’s some time for some analysis. It’s pretty safe to say (in my opinion) that Duncan is done. He had to rely on the first couple of rounds to get really close, and he didn’t. He’ll have a huge drop-off over the next 2 rounds of balloting. I really don’t know where his people will go, but I’m guessing that it’ll probably go to Saul Anuzis and Katon Dawson. Maybe a few will go to Blackwell, but I think people may not “waste” their votes on him since he’s at the bottom right now, but who knows.
UPDATE (1:31 P.M. EST): They just finished the third round of voting and are now counting up the ballots.
UPDATE (1:42 P.M. EST): third round of voting:
Mike Duncan: 44 votes (-4/-8)
Michael Steele: 51 votes (+3/+5)
Katon Dawson: 34 votes (+5/+6)
Saul Anuzis: 24 votes (0/+2)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (-1/-5)
Blackwell and Duncan are done. I’m surprised that more people went for Steele here. It looks like Anuzis is done, but Dawson could be in this depending on who drops out and when.
UPDATE (1:51 P.M. EST): OK, time for more discussion – I think Blackwell will drop by round 6 of balloting, and that should give Steele enough votes to push him over the edge. I think Steele’s biggest competition now is Dawson, but I think Steele’s got it.
UPDATE (2:13 P.M. EST): A friend just passed on to me rumors that a deal may be in the works right now.
UPDATE (2:13 P.M. EST): Mike Duncan is speaking – about to drop?
UPDATE (2: 17 P.M. EST): Duncan just dropped out and is now thanking his campaign staff.
UPDATE (2:19 P.M. EST): There was a motion for a recess, but i was voted down by a voice vote. Voting has now started.
UPDATE (2:22 P.M. EST): Apparently the co-chair had trouble actually getting a ballot from the teller or whoever was passing them out, so there was a little bit of a funny moment just now as she tried to get that.
UPDATE (2:24 P.M. EST): They’re now calling the roll and depositing the ballots in the box.
UPDATE (2:49 P.M. EST): 4th round of voting:
Mike Duncan: (-44/-52)
Michael Steele: 60 votes (+9/+14)
Katon Dawson: 62 votes (+28/+34)
Saul Anuzis: 31 votes (+7/+9)
Ken Blackwell: 15 votes (0/-5)
Wow – I really didn’t expect Dawson to get that many votes. Steele may NOT have this in the bag yet. I do expect Blackwell to drop soon, and that may push Steele over the top, but if Blackwell stays in, Dawson may get there first.
UPDATE (2:59 P.M. EST): Blackwell isn’t expected to stay in past the 5th round of balloting, so if he drops 1 round early, and all of his 15 go to Steele, Steele would have it. If stays in for a while, I think Dawson may get it.
UPDATE (3:01 P.M. EST): Blackwell is about to speak.
UPDATE (3:03 P.M. EST): They found Ken Blackwell (he had been missing), and he IS in fact about to address the committee.
UPDATE (3:09 P.M. EST): “I cannot change … this electorate, nor would I want to.” He’s talking about us being the party of Lincoln. He’s talking about choosing the “path of conviction over the path of convenience.” “I withdraw my name … and put my support fully behind … I believe that the next chairman must inspire hope … create opportunity and must have the leadership opportunity … to first pull us together and then pull Americans together. … Great nations don’t come from governments … but from people. … I put my full support behind Michael Steele.”
OH YEAH BABY! CALLED IT!
Alright, the voting has now begun.
UPDATE (3:10 P.M. EST): The roll is now being called.
UPDATE (3:26 P.M. EST): Steele is on the phone.
UPDATE (3:35 P.M. EST): 5th round:
Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 79 votes (+19/+33)
Katon Dawson: 69 votes (+7/+41)
Saul Anuzis: 20 votes (-11/-2)
Ken Blackwell: (-15/-20)
Saul is withdrawing, but no endorsement! This is gonna get interesting.
UPDATE (3:40 P.M. EST): Alright, time for some analysis. I honestly think this race is over. Steele only needs 6 more votes, and Saul had 20 available, so as long as Steele gets 30% of Saul’s supporters, he wins. I don’t see Dawson winning this one, although he has come a LOT farther than anybody thought, and he has been doing really good in gathering support from dropped candidates. He’s received no endorsements so far, but he’s gained the most from the first ballot to the current ballot (the second number in the parentheses). They should be coming back in 3 minutes, so hopefully we’ll have a chair by around 4:00.
UPDATE (3:45 P.M. EST): The Proxy Committee report has been approved and the seargent at arms is distributing the ballots. This should be the last ballot.
UPDATE (3:47 P.M. EST): You have to figure that Keith Butler (MI) will go for Steele, so that means that Steele would only need 5 additional delegates after Butler.
UPDATE (3:49 P.M. EST): The roll is now being called. We’re almost half-way through the roll call.
UPDATE (3:58 P.M. EST): The ballots are now being counted.
UPDATE (4:05 P.M. EST): Here are the results of the 6th and final balloting round:
Mike Duncan: (-/-52)
Michael Steele: 91 votes (+12/+45)
Katon Dawson: 77 votes (+8/+49)
Saul Anuzis: (-20/-22)
Ken Blackwell: (-/-20)
Congratulations to Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee!
UPDATE (4:11 P.M. EST): Steele is now speaking. He’s saying “it’s time for something different, and we’re going to bring it to them. … We’re going to bring this party … to every community. … To those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over. … I want to thank all of you especially. … I never thought this day would come. … I would like to especially thank my friends in the territories … who will help grow this party in a way that we have never seen before. … To my friends in the Northeast: get ready baby, it’s time to turn it on. … We’re gonna win again in the Northeast. We’re gonna continue to win in the South. We’re gonna win in a new storm in the Midwest. We’re gonna get to the West and lock it down there too. … I cannot do this by myself. … This is about empowering you. … We stand proud, as the conservative party of he United States, and we will work hard to make sure those values … that made us the party of Lincoln … are part of thoe issues. … So, my first official act, as your new chairman, is to end this speech right now, because we have a few more races to do. … God bless you. God bless our party. Thank you.”
UPDATE (12:46 A.M. EST 2-1/09): Here’s a video of Michael Steele’s acceptance speech. It’s a great speech, so take the time to watch it:
And with that, I’m done with my coverage – I have to go drop off a lab report for my physics class!
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