DUNCAN’S DONE…. For those jonesing for some kind of election-related activity, today’s balloting for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee is, well, at least mildly interesting.

After the first ballot, the hand-picked-by-Bush incumbent, Mike Duncan, was in the lead with 52 votes. Michael Steele was a close second with 46, followed by South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson with 28. On the second ballot, Duncan and Steele were tied at 48, with Dawson in third with 29. On the third ballot, Steele pulled ahead with 51 votes, while Duncan slipped to second with 44, and Dawson holding on with 34.

And at that point, Duncan decided to call it a day, withdrawing from consideration.

“Obviously the winds of change are blowing at the RNC,” Duncan said, adding that he trusts the “vision” of his fellow members. “I understand what’s going on.”

“At this time, I wish to withdraw my name from nomination as chairman as the RNC,” he said, to a standing ovation.

The low profile Duncan served through the Republican collapse of the late Bush term, and received little blame for GOP defeats, but had little record of success to point to.

That Duncan was a top contender at all says something odd about the Republican Party. He was chairman for the 2006 and 2008 cycles, during which his party lost 10 Senate seats, 50 House seats, and the White House. It’s hard to run for another term under these circumstances, especially when one realizes that Duncan got the job from a failed former president.

As for where Duncan’s votes will go, and who’s going to win this contest, stay tuned.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.