A large portion of the Republican National Committee (RNC) wants current chairman Michael Steele out before the presidential election cycle, according to interviews conducted by the Associated Press.

Steele, a controversial figure among Republicans, has faced criticism for his heavy spending and frequent gaffes as party chairman.

He has not said whether he will pursue a second term.

Balloting will take place in roughly two months, and of the 51 committee members interviewed, 39 said they hoped that Steele would not be an option.

"You can't keep spending the kind of money they're spending every month just to operate the RNC," one committee member told the AP. "I would hope he would step aside."

"The question is who should be hired for the next two years, It's not a matter of firing anybody," said another. "I just don't think Steele has performed at the level we need for the presidential cycle."

Should Steele choose to run again, he already faces an opponent in Michigan committeeman Saul Anuzis, who recently announced his candidacy for the chairmanship. Several other committee officials and party veterans have formed exploratory committee to weigh their own potential bids. 

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