Yes, an effective RNC is still important

In normal years, when the Republican National Committee is on solid financial footing, it steers millions of dollars to electing GOP officials and strengthening the party. This cycle the RNC will start $15 million in the hole from last cycle, so the organization will have to retire debt while building its war chest for the 2011 governors’ races in Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky, the 2012 elections, and any special elections that arise in the interim. Either way, the next chairman will gain access to a national network of donors large and small, and the power and authority to direct millions of dollars…

Of course, chairmen have similar ability to steer money towards particular regions of the country. If an RNC chairman is convinced that winning the presidency means the Republican candidate must win in State X, then State X is going to get a lot of financial and other help from the national committee. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine any chairman shortchanging his own state.