GOP leaders plot to oust Steele from Republican National Committee

Reid Wilson at Hotline has a great rundown of all the behind the scenes plotting over control of the RNC:

As he contemplates running for a second term, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is on the verge of losing his coalition of supporters. Even some of those closest to the controversial chairman have begun urging him to step aside.

Strategists familiar with the RNC who both support and oppose Steele agree there are between 40 and 50 of the 168 voters who will back Steele for a second term. Another 40 to 50 members will definitely vote for someone else. The remaining members, numbering between 88 and 68, are undecided.

Meanwhile, a group of prominent Republicans led by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are searching for a consensus candidate capable of defeating Steele. Though they have not settled on a challenger, and in fact are unlikely to find a consensus choice, strategists who both support and oppose Steele say coalitions are forming now to deny Steele a second term.

The names of a lot of possible challengers to Steele are being thrown around at this point, and Wilson discusses the various names and what they might bring to the table. Also, near the end of the piece Wilson buries this chestnut:

But the rest of Steele’s support appears to be slipping. Members of Steele’s inner circle have directly asked the chairman not to seek another term, as recently as the Sunday following the election.

Oh, and expect to start hearing a lot more about the race for RNC chair after the Republican Governors Association meets in San Diego next week.

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