By all accounts it’s going to be a long day. No one expects the next RNC Chair to be elected on the first, second, third or even fourth ballot. It took six ballots for Steele to win the chairmanship in 2009.
There is much last minute campaigning and wrangling of each candidate to secure a majority of the 168-member RNC votes. It will take 85 votes to win.
I have been stunned to see firsthand the enormous campaign efforts launched for the (some would say thankless) position of RNC Chair. Slick brochures, professional produced battle plans, signs, expensive hospitality suites, staff members, and each RNC voting member received no less than eight gift bags from various candidates – containing anything from snacks to state mementoes to personalized notepads and in one case an engraved business card holder. In addition there are also other minor offices open for election. The Chair receives a salary but there is no financial compensation for the positions of Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.