The first ballot is a big victory for Steele and a disappointment for Blackwell.
Anuzis and Dawson are going to be duking it out on the second ballot to stay competitive. They'll both aim to flip supporters from Duncan and Blackwell into their own columns.
Now, it's important which candidate can "grow" the most votes by picking off people from Duncan...part of this spin will be from Duncan's opponents who want to members to believe the 52 vote count is a negative referendum on his management of the 2008 election.
And they'd be right , securing only 52 votes out of 168 as the current chairman has to hurt Duncan.
Blackwell's whip team was lobbying supporters strong to stick with him through multiple ballots. One of them was even dropping flyers to remind them of previous elections where members have won after only securing ballots in the low-twenties on the first round.
See my memo yesterday on how to read the "smoke signals" through the multi-ballot race.
A Response to My Conservative #NeverTrump Friends
IRS Employee Admits He Would Continue Targeting Conservative Groups: 'That's Just the Way It Is'