The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza offers a ranking of the chances of the six men running for RNC. But his order seemed a little off to my gut, and I asked around to double check.
I asked a few folks closely watching the race what they thought. They aren’t affiliated with any of the candidates, but each one has his preferences. Note this ranking is not necessarily who they want to win, but who they think is most likely to win:
Race Watcher One:
I think that (incumbent RNC Chair Mike) Duncan is the only clear first tier but if he doesn’t put it away quickly, I don’t see how he wins. In the second tier, I would put Saul Anuzis and Michael Steele. I know that Katon Dawson was trying to get past the country club thing with members this weekend, and if he accomplishes that, then he pops up into the second tier . . . I don’t think that Blackwell is first tier or 2nd tier, and Saltsman won’t even be nominated so I don’t care about him.
But wait, there’s a completely different take from Race Watcher Two:
I hear that Duncan is now toast, that Blackwell is probably a little ahead, and that Anuzis is everyone’s second choice.
And, to ensure everyone is really confused, Race Watcher Three agrees in part and disagrees in part with both:
I think Blackwell’s likely the number two in the race. Maybe I’m wrong there. But I do think Duncan’s the leader at this turn of the race simply by being the incumbent and he knows all 168 voters.
But then again, these folks are trying to do what we’re doing — get into the heads of 168 RNC members, some of whom are playing their cards very close to the vest. Some members have endorsed a candidate, but even there, we’re left wondering who these members back if their first-choice candidate is eliminated early.