Texans May Lose Clout With April Primary | KERA News

Texans May Lose Clout With April Primary

Dec 16, 2011

A federal judge has signed off on an agreement to delay Texas' March primary election until April 3. That will give candidates time to adjust to final redistricting maps. But KERA's Shelley Kofler reports Texas may lose some of its influence in choosing a republican presidential nominee.

If the primary had remained on March 6 Texas Republicans would have been among the 11 states taking part in the big Super Tuesday vote. The contest among presidential contenders may still close in March, and Texans could have been among the voters that decide the GOP nominee.

That could still happen with an April 3 primary, but SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson says it's less likely.

Jillson: It does mean we lose about a month of possible influence on the national contest because in early March we were at Super Tuesday with a dozen or so other states. Now there are about two dozen states that will vote before we get to vote in early April so we lost sort of a pole position in the presidential primary process on the republican side.

The Republican and Democrat parties of Texas delayed the primary because of a dispute over election maps. The maps will not be finalized until after the Supreme Court weighs in next month. Candidates and election officials needed more time to get ready for balloting.

Governor Perry's supporters argued in favor of keeping the March primary hoping a big Texas vote that early in the process would keep Perry's presidential hopes alive.

Jillson says the near disintegration of Perry's campaign probably convinced Republicans to look at the needs of others in the party.

Email Shelley Kofler