There are two men at the top of list for RNC Chairman: Mike Duncan and Katon Dawson. One of them will be the next chairman.
I’m not saying this because I want them, though truth be told I’d be happy with either. I’m saying this because I’ve been surveying RNC members and people on the outside. It seems very clear this is where we stand.
In third place would be Saul Anuzis with Michael Steele nipping at his heels. Publicly, Steele has more endorsements, but Anuzis has stronger support among undecideds.
Ken Blackwell has failed to gain much traction and Chip Saltsman has failed to gain any traction.
My understanding is that Mike Duncan and Michael Steele are in the process of cutting a deal. If Duncan cannot get enough strength to get an outright victory or at least victory on the second ballot, he may swing his support to Steele. Likewise, Michael Steele is said to be amenable to the idea of throwing his support to Duncan on the second ballot if Duncan gets close on the first.
The wild card is Dawson. Many of the conservatives I’ve talked to intend to throw their support to him on the second ballot if Blackwell does, in fact, go down. This too leaves plenty of room for Saul to jockey in for position if a third ballot becomes necessary.
We can be pretty sure right now that at the end of the week we won’t see Blackwell or Saltsman in the Chairman’s office. As the week goes on and more shifts in voting occur, I’ll try to update with where things stand. Today though, pay attention to Duncan and Steele.