For the third straight day this week, incumbent chairman Mike Duncan picked up backing from the party membership, earning the support of Arkansas committee members Jim Burnett and Reta Hamilton. In a letter to party members, Burnett insisted that Duncan not be blamed for the party’s electoral drubbing in November. Instead, he wrote, Duncan managed to raise a record amount of money and compile a substantial e-mail list in the face of a Democratic headwind.Raising money and compiling email lists are certainly important; however, many younger members of the party are looking to candidates such as Chip Saltsman, Ken Blackwell, Michael Steele, or Saul Anuzis to bring a fresh focus to the party, one that welcomes new members and embraces new technology (two areas where the party did not do well in 2008.) But with few Young Republicans represented on the RNC, there may be little chance of having this concerns considered.
As of this posting, Chairman Doyle Webb (the only other Arkansans having a vote on the RNC) has not yet committed to any one candidate. By all reports, the race is still wide open with the vote to take place on January 28. The question remains will the members of the Committee stick with Duncan out of loyalty to him or will they listen to many party members who are looking for a change.