Speaking of that possibility and with chatter ramping up of late, the removal of the RNC chairman requires a two-thirds vote of the RNC according to Rule 5(1)(a)[See page 7 in rules here.]. Now, whether that is probable is beside the point. Chris Cillizza thinks it is unlikely, but let's look at this from a numbers standpoint. We know that 112 RNC members (out of 168) would have to vote to remove Steele. We also know that Steele got 91 votes on the sixth and final ballot of the chair election in January. The 77 votes that went to runner-up Katon Dawson would have to be augmented by 35 of those 91 Steele supporters to remove the current chair.
|RNC Chair Votes by Ballot|
|Source: National Review Online|
But not all of those 91 were initially among Steele's supporters. In fact, of those 91, at most 45 were not with Steele on the first ballot. [That assumes that all of the original 46 stuck by Steele throughout.] That's 45 soft Steele supporters who could potentially be swayed by an effort to assemble a successful vote of no confidence to oust the chairman. Of course 78% of those 45 would have to be persuaded that Steele needs to removed to make that a reality (or to break into the original 46 hard supporters) and I'm not sure that's anywhere close to happening. But more statements like those given to GQ and/or Republican James Tedisco failing to win new Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's vacated NY-20 congressional seat in the upcoming special election likely wouldn't help.
But put it this way: It is closer now than it was on January 30 when Steele was elected.
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