It all went down at 10 am PST. The election for the next chair of the Republican Party was held, and Ronna McDaniel handily won re-election to another two-year term. The RNC chair race isn't usually an event with much competition, but it became a contentious battle, at least initially.
Okay, I'll do an RNC chair thread here. The meeting starts at 10 am PT; the vote will come after other business, probably within an hour. It's a secret ballot, with the 168 voting members/proxies putting paper slips in a box that'll be counted inside the room.— David Weigel (@daveweigel) January 27, 2023
Mike Lindell meets the press pic.twitter.com/JfRZfTgCzz— David Weigel (@daveweigel) January 27, 2023
Ronna McDaniel earned one with attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who saw a crease and decided to go for it. McDaniel had overseen not one but three lackluster election cycles. In all of them, the GOP lost or grossly underperformed, with the 2022 midterms being a missed opportunity for the GOP to establish healthy legislative majorities in Congress, given the high inflation and economic recession. A red wave never materialized.
With congressional Republicans re-electing their leaders who oversaw this calamity, this race was seen by some to hold the party accountable for its failures and shortcomings. McDaniel said she had this election sewn up, but Dhillon’s people thought the support was soft. The entertainment factor here was Mike Lindell tossing his hat into the race.
Things got a little more interesting when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 contender, said it was time for a change in leadership. In the end, this contest required no second ballot. McDaniel secured 111 votes, Dhillon 51, and Mike Lindell with four. McDaniel needed 84 to win.
167 votes cast, 84 for a majority— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) January 27, 2023
Mike Lindell, 4, Harmeet 51, Ronna 111 votes— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) January 27, 2023
McDaniel's supporters declared she had this thing in the bag, citing the 107 RNC members who had pledged support. With 111 votes, that projection was pretty spot on for a party that's missed the mark in recent cycles.