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Live Updates From The RNC Chair Election

Five Republicans are vying today to be the next chairman of the Republican Party. With Democrats in power in the White House and both chambers of Congress, the party's new leader will be tasked with getting the GOP back on track. Check out our story today on the state of the Republican Party and its path forward.

We're at the RNC Winter Meeting in downtown Washington, and will provide live updates from what will most likely be a multi-ballot election:

4:08: "As a little boy growing up in this town, this is awesome," Steele said. "It's time for something completely different, and we're going to bring it to them."

4:03: Steele wins with 91 votes, becoming the new leader of the GOP.

3:44: The 6th ballots are now being distributed, but it appears as though the race is already over. Look for Steele to come out on top. He needs just six more votes (85 out of 168) to win, and it's likely Anuzis will give him well more than that.

3:30: Anuzis withdraws. "We've got two great people still running." And then there were two...

3:28: 5th ballot tally: Steele, 79; Dawson, 69; Anuzis, 20.

3:04: Blackwell withdraws, endorses Steele. "We're back on path to become the majority party again." The 5th ballots are now being distributed, with just three candidates remaining.

2:42: Dawson takes the lead. 4th ballot tally: Dawson, 62; Steele, 60; Anuzis, 31; Blackwell, 15.

2:24: Overheard: As ballots are being dropped in the box at the front of the room, in the back of the room one Duncan staffer says to a Steele staffer: "I know which way we're sending our people. We'll see if they listen."

2:20: Following Duncan's exit speech, one member asked for a second 15-minute recess before the fourth ballot. However, the restless voting members rejected the idea, as well as a follow-up five minute option. Ballots are now being distributed.

2:14: Duncan withdraws. "Obviously the winds of change are blowing at the RNC," Duncan said, as he withdrew his candidacy. He received a standing ovation.

1:42: The end for Duncan? Surging Dawson? One thing's for sure, there will almost certainly be five ballots.

1:38: 3rd ballot tally: Steele, 51; Duncan, 44; Dawson, 34; Anuzis, 24; Blackwell, 15.

12:56: 2nd ballot tally: Duncan, 48; Steele, 48; Dawson, 29; Anuzis, 24; Blackwell, 19.

12:30: Second ballots are now being passed out, as are boxed lunches. What takes the longest in the voting process is that all 168 members, called on by state, must walk up to the front of the room -- graduation style -- and drop their ballot in the box.

12:12: One RNC staffer to me: "If I'm Duncan, I would've held back some of my supporters on the first ballot, then had them switch their vote to me over the next few ballots to build momentum." Perhaps that's what he's doing?

12:08: First ballot tally: Duncan, 52 ; Steele, 46 ; Dawson, 28 ; Anuzis, 22; Blackwell, 20. 85 are needed to win.

12:02: Overheard: Steele supporters are organizing a mass cheer when Steele's vote total is announced. "Whether its 40 votes or 3 votes," one Steele aide said. Votes are currently being tabulated and candidates are schmoozing.

11:24: Candidates spotted by this reporter so far: Steele, sitting off to the side with legs crossed and chewing gum; Saul Anuzis, standing with arms crossed; Katon Dawson, sitting and typing on his BlackBerry. As state party chairs, Dawson and Anuzis will vote.

11:18: The first ballots are now being passed out to the 168 voting RNC members, as time expired for endorsement statements. Michael Steele's endorsers spoke last.