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NPR's Don Gonyea reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)
DON GONYEA: It was one final day of campaigning yesterday ahead of today's vote at the RNC's annual winter meeting. In the wide corridor of a hotel convention complex just outside Washington, Michael Steele seemed relaxed as he worked to hang onto his job. He walks as he talks.
MICHAEL STEELE: Unidentified Man: How are you?
STEELE: Unidentified Man: Doing great.
STEELE: Look, you're still eating, man. Come on.
GONYEA: Steele is as easy going as ever - polite, but not inclined to handicap his chances with a couple of reporters.
STEELE: I've gotten out of the prediction business a long time ago. So, it's good seeing you guys.
GONYEA: Thank you. Thanks.
STEELE: All right, take care.
GONYEA: Reid Wilson is the editor-in-chief of the National Journal's Hotline.
REID WILSON: There was a serious lack of funding here, because Michael Steele was not able to pull in the same kind of donations that the RNC has seen in previous years.
GONYEA: Also running is Ann Wagner. She's a longtime party activist and a former U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. Wagner acknowledges that a lot of big money for last year's congressional elections bypassed the RNC. But she insists the role of the Republican National Committee has not diminished.
ANN WAGNER: I still think it is the premier political institution in America, and would say even the world. And there are some things that it can and must do well, and especially during a presidential cycle year.
GONYEA: Here's candidate Saul Anuzis.
SAUL ANUZIS: I think clearly the first question will be whether or not we re-elect Steele. But I do think there's consensus for change. And I think we'll probably go - I would not be surprised if we go five to six ballots. And if some of the candidates have different strategies to stay in longer, it could go six, seven, eight.
GONYEA: Hotline's Reid Wilson says this year, RNC delegates are looking for a good manager and a great fundraiser. But they may be looking for something else, as well.
WILSON: Don Gonyea, NPR News, Washington.
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