From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Shortly before second-round voting was announced, Duncan spokesman Chris Taylor reminded First Read that in 1993 Haley Barbour got 50 votes on first round.
"We feel good," he said, adding that Duncan had 42 public endorsement this morning. But also said that they expected to gain in the second round. He said he expected to see the most movement in the third round. Like the Anuzis camp, he said he believes there is an impending member versus non-member rift that will take hold, and could sway the race to Duncan -- since Blackwell and Steele are not RNC members.
But the Anuzis people, vying to be the "insider" alternative, contend that if Steele goes above Duncan, that could be a P.R. debacle for the sitting chairman. They believed if Duncan fell to second in the second round, that would translate into gains for Dawson or Anuzis.
The same would hold true for the third round. We'll see what happens.