Live from the RNC: The Polls Are Open
Here’s how the balloting for the Republican National Committee chair vote works. There are 168 voters: when one man gets 85 votes, he wins. They can choose between five candidates, and everyone here knows that Mike Duncan, the incumbent chairman, is ahead. How close he gets to 85 votes on the first ballot determines whether he survives: if he falls below the 70 that are rumored to be in his pocket, he’s in deep trouble.
At 11:40 a.m. EST, the balloting began. In alphabetical order by state/territory, the voters march to a bright red ballot box, and drop their votes in. All ballots have been cast as of 11:52, so everyone’s waiting for them to be counted.
An important quirk: no candidates are eliminated from ballot to ballot. The candidate who comes in last place is allowed to stay in the race. But practically, the non-Duncan candidates are likely going to start making deals if they force a second round.