Dear God, let this be true…

(Fox News)Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is expected to announce he will drop out of the highly contested race to keep his post, multiple RNC sources told FoxNews.com on Sunday.

Fox News has confirmed Steele sent an e-mail to committee members Saturday night with the subject line, “conference call.”

In the note, he asked members to join him “for a private conference call” Monday evening.

Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House, narrowed the gap in the Senate and picked up 19 state legislative bodies in the November midtem election, but pressure has been mounting all year for Steele to step down from the position.

Critics have described the chairman as gaffe-prone and said he hasn’t raised enough money. The criticism has resulted in an array of challenges for Steele’s job from Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former RNC Co-Chairwoman Ann Wagner, longtime Republican official Maria Cino, former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and former RNC Political Director Gentry Collins.

Update: Major bummer…

(Fox News)– Controversial Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who last month presided over the GOP’s biggest electoral gains since 1938, will announce tonight that he is running for re-election, Fox News has learned from two RNC members.

Ending weeks of rumors that he would not seek a second term, Steele plans to throw his hat into the ring during a conference call with RNC members at 7:30 p.m. ET, the sources said. Steele is said to be amused by false reports of his retirement and intentionally kept his plans secret for the last month in order to flush out competitors for the post, Fox has learned.

During Steele’s tenure, Republicans picked up 63 House seats in last month’s elections, the biggest gain in more than seven decades. But Steele has been dogged by criticism from some Republicans who see him as prone to missteps.

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