Discuss as:

Steele takes the lead

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Mark Murray
Michael Steele has taken the lead in this race for RNC chairman, after what amounts to a third overtime here.

After the third round of voting, Steele is at 51 -- gaining three from the last round and five over all. Duncan has slipped to 44, down from 48 last round and 52 on first ballot.

No one achieved the needed 85-vote majority, so voting goes to a fourth round. There, again, will be a 15-minute recess, then another vote, and about 15 minutes to count the votes.

Dawson showed the most movement this round, picking up five. Anuzis remained at 24, and Blackwell lost four more.

But it's a bit of Groundhog's Day at this RNC race. In three rounds of votes, there has only been a total movementĀ of 26 votes

"Steele picking up three, us losing four is tough," Duncan spokesman Chris Taylor said. He said is showing real movement and said he was surprised Anuzis stayed at 24

"This is a member-non member race," he stressed, adding that there are still 15 Blackwell votes, which likely went to Dawson this round.

He added, if "we continue this trend, and Dawson gets ahead of us," then he'll be very concerned.