Politics

UPDATE: Steele Drops Out Of RNC Chair Race, Latest Totals As The RNC Votes

Update: 5:19p.m. Reince Priebus was just elected the next chairman of the RNC

Priebus - 97

Anuzis - 43

Cino - 28

Update: 4:59p.m. Ann Wagner has dropped out of the race for RNC Chair. She didn't endorse anyone.

Update: 4:50p.m.  Totals from the sixth round of RNC Chair voting:

Preibus - 80

Anuzis - 37

Cino - 34

 Wagner - 17

Update: 4:15p.m.  Totals from the fifth round of RNC Chair voting:

Priebus - 67

Cino - 40

Anuzis - 32

Wagner - 28

There was one disqualified write-in vote in round five.

Update: 3:53p.m.    Michael Steele has dropped out of the race for RNC Chair.  In a speech to voters, he urged his supporters to vote for Maria Cino.

Update: 3:40 p.m.  Totals from the fourth round of RNC Chair voting:

Priebus - 58

Cino - 29

Steele - 28

Wagner - 28

Anuzis - 24

There was one disqualified write-in vote in round 4.

Update: 3:10 p.m.  Totals from the third round of RNC Chair voting:

Priebus - 54

Steele - 33

Wagner - 32

Cino - 28 

Anuzis - 21

Priebus gains 2 votes

Steele loses 4 votes

Priebus is still leading, but not enough voters are jumping from other candidates to his camp for him to put this away.

Wagner is emerging as a serious contender and was just seen ducking into a side room with Steele.

Wagner emerged from room first, would not answer questions. Steele followed a couple minutes later and was asked if there was a deal.

Steele said "No!"

Everyone is waiting for a candidate to drop out. Anuzis, who has gotten the lowest vote total in the last two rounds doesn't seem like he'll oblige yet.

Update: 2:25 p.m.  Totals from the second round of RNC Chair voting:

Priebus - 52

Steele - 37

Cino - 30

Wagner - 27 

Anuzis - 22

Priebus gains 7 votes

Steele loses 7 votes

Steele says, "So far so good!"

Cino's strong showing surprises, she's still holding on at 30 votes.

Anuzis and Wagner at the bottom but no one is dropping out and now, the horse trading begins in earnest.

Update: 1:45 p.m. Totals from the first round of RNC Chair voting:

Priebus - 45

Steele - 44

Cino - 32

Anuzis - 24

Wagner - 23

The first round of voting suggests another popular theory may be playing out. It has Reince Priebus urging some of his supporters to vote for Maria Cino in the first round.  Cino's total of 32 votes is a surprisingly strong showing.

This could accomplish two goals for Priebus, to stamp out Ann Wagner's candidacy early, and to make his second round jump in votes look all the more impressive, thereby stoking his momentum.

Update: 1:20 p.m.

Saul Anuzis, Maria Cino, Reince Priebus, Michael Steele and Ann Wagner have all been nominated for RNC Chair.  The first round of voting is underway.

As the nomination process begins in the RNC election, embattled incumbent Chairman Michael Steele tells FOX News he won't bow out of the race.

"They're going to have to beat me... I'm still the Chairman," said Steele.

In order to win, a candidate must garner votes from 85 of the 168 RNC members, and that usually takes numerous rounds of voting.

Because the election goes on for multiple rounds over several hours it becomes what many members call a "battle of attrition."

Conventional wisdom holds that as the sitting Chairman, Steele will win the first round or be neck and neck with Reince Priebus.

Priebus is a commiteeman from Wisconsin and has emerged as a frontrunner among the challengers.

Many inside the committee tell FOX News they think after the first round Steele's support will fall away like a house of cards.

There is a school of thought out here that says if Priebus cannot wrap up his victory by the third round he becomes vulnerable.

That's where Saul Anuzis, a committeeman from Michigan may make his play.

"My campaign won't even start until the 3rd or 4th round," Anuzis told FOX News.

Anuzis ran for the post in 2009 before ultimately losing to Steele. However, Anuzis ensured Steele's victory by steering his supporters Steele's way during the later rounds.

Many expect Steele may return the favor this year and the two were talking privately in the hallway before today's action began.

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.