When Michael Steele won the RNC Chairman election, he got 91 votes out of the 168 voting members of the RNC. It was a competitive race, and he was the odds-on favorite, but the elephant in the room was whether he was a true conservative. His detractors included Ken Blackwell of the Eagle Forum and the man he beat, Michael Duncan. RNC members for Duncan wanted to continue party leadership as it had been going. RNC members voting for Steele wanted change.
The change they believed in was not envisioned to be a leadership experiment in primetime. This is Michael Steele's Sarah Palin moment, and conservatives are questioning his suitability as RNC top dog.
As one voting member of the RNC tells me, "I don't know if this is the tipping point or not. I don't know if there will be movement for him to go. The next meeting is in May. It only takes a certain number of people to create a meeting sooner if that were to happen."
An email campaign against Steele is growing in conservative circles, with his comments about the abortion issue and taking on Rush Limbaugh providing grist for his detractors; especially those who doubted he was a true conservative in the first place.
As one operative tells me, "The conservative base of our party is the base of our party. He has a long priority list to get things running effectively. He has to focus on the RNC structure, the nuts and bolts and grassroots work. He has to focus on rebuilding."