San Diego, California (CNN) – Current Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn't at the Republican Governors Association gathering here, but he's a big topic of discussion.
At this morning's governors breakfast, RGA Chairman Haley Barbour asked the 26 Republican governors and governors elect whether they would be comfortable asking RNC committee members in their states to consider a change in RNC leadership next year. Eighty percent of the governors raised their hand. That's according to a Republican staffer who attended the meeting and asked to remain anonymous while speaking about the current RNC chair.
A second Republican source tells CNN, "There is a clear consensus Steele needs to go."
Officials don't want to appear to be pushing Steele out or dictating to their party, but clearly there is no great well of support for Steele at this gathering.
One of the questions discussed at the gathering – who should replace Steele. One name that keeps emerging is current RGA Executive Director Nick Ayers who has the trust of current RGA Chair Haley Barbour, outgoing Vice Chair Tim Pawlenty – both potential 2012 presidential contenders – and incoming RGA Chair Rick Perry.
According to one Republican briefed on the breakfast meeting, after the show of hands Ayers was asked to leave the room. The governors then discussed backing him for the role.
Ayers is in his 20s. Sources close to him tell CNN some governors have reached out to ask him to run for the post, but he has not been seeking the role. One Ayers supporter says "this is being driven by the Governors." Ayers, who has been Executive Director of the RGA since 2007, would be the youngest RNC chairman to date.