While it is impossible to pre-judge the outcome, two things are certain.
First, Warsi speaks to parts of the electorate that the Conservatives have historically failed to reach. Far more than under Margaret Thatcher, polls suggest the Conservatives are seen as run by and for the wealthy. Even many of the party's black and Asian representatives are cosmopolitan and public school educated, and have little in common with the working-class Muslim in Lancashire or the traditionalist Hindu in Northamptonshire.
By contrast, Warsi's ordinariness is reflected in her lack of politician-speak and her Yorkshire accent. She appears to grasp that ethnic outreach demands very different strategies for different communities, and isn't always politically correct. She is straightforwardly and openly patriotic, and can demolish the left's representatives on issues from the Falklands to mass immigration.
That said, and secondly, there are questions over her role as co-chairman, and whether this is best suited to her talents. Relatively inexperienced in the ways of Westminster, she has failed to connect with Tory backbenchers and is felt to have mishandled some big moments.
Michael Fallon, her deputy, has taken on the bulk of her public-facing roles, defending the Conservatives across the airwaves. When Warsi appeared on the BBC election special last month, for example, she made an embarrassing link between BNP and UKIP candidates and failed to back it up when challenged.
There are better candidates than Warsi for the job of party chairman but Cameron would be mistaken to dispense with her for good. Instead, he should now be considering the many other roles in which she would excel.