Reince Preibius has just won the first ballot in the RNC chairman’s race with 45 votes, followed closely by Michael Steele at 44, Maria Cino at 32, Saul Anuzis at 24 and Ann Wagner at 23.
Steele’s total is likely to start to decline dramatically in the subsequent votes as long as he remains in the race. It’s typical of RNC members to vote for the incumbent in large numbers on the first ballot as a sort of going away present.
Most people I’ve spoken to here don’t expect us to have a good idea of the race until after the third ballot. But out of the gate, Priebus had a worse showing than most expected and Cino (recently endorsed by Speaker John Boehner) had a better one. Coming into today she only had 13 public commitments.