That said, I think Jay Cost's comments on the party structure help explain why the RNC Chairman race doesn't really matter:
The two parties stretch across three broad categories -- the electorate, the party organization in place to facilitate the campaign, and the government. None of these parts of the party is formally connected to any other part, and even within each category there is not a great deal of coherence.
Rather than inject some nuance into its analysis, the MSM has instead chosen to annoint the National Committee Chairman as the leader of the party in exile. The only reason it's done this, I believe, is the title. It sure as heck sounds as though the chairman actually leads [the] party! But in reality, he doesn't. The DNC and RNC have carved out for themselves amidst the chaos of the modern political party two, relatively narrow goals: (a) put on the quadrenniel political convention; (b) raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the political campaign. The chairman of both committees is supposed to spearhead these operations. He has no role in policy formation, nor does he really speak for anybody beyond the state party officials who elected him. In reality, he is just the organizational head of the party's campaign structure, which is by far the weakest and least consequential of the three components of the party.