That was the case with Texas. They are adamant about holding these things at one time in the Lone Star state. When I contacted the elections division of the Texas Secretary of State's office a few years back, they made it abundantly clear that in Texas, they hold their presidential primaries with their other primaries and that is that. [And thus was born a major variable and subsequent finding about the importance of split primaries and frontloading. But that's a different story.]
In 2007, then, the big story out of Texas -- in the context of the frontloading of their presidential primary -- was the burden the various proposals to move the state's 2008 primaries would put on local elections officials. That was the major reason Texas stayed where it did.** And it proved a masterstroke anyway since the state was so consequential to the nominations of John McCain and Barack Obama. [Yes, Obama. The president did win more delegates in Texas despite losing the primary to Hillary Clinton. Ah, prima-caucuses.]
That burden, however, has not deterred one of the House sponsors of the 2007 bill from introducing legislation to move the Lone Star state's primaries (presidential primary included) to the first Tuesday in February for 2012 and beyond. Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas) during the filing period last (gulp) November (Yeah, I really missed that one.) filed HB 246 to shift the state's primary from the first Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February.
Now, under normal circumstances I'd try to shoot this one down like I did for both North Carolina and Oregon. In both those cases, members of the out-party are proposing frontloading bills for 2012. And normally that partisanship argument holds water, but not in Texas. First, Texas is a big state. We aren't talking about a handful of delegates here. That the Lone Star state didn't shift, given past movement, was one of the surprises of the movement (or non-movement) in the lead up to 2008. Also, in North Carolina and Oregon we're talking about Republicans pushing a bill on unreceptive Democrats. In Texas, a Democrat is pushing a bill in a Republican legislature. And by all estimates, the 2012 primary season, and especially the timing of events, is more consequential to the Republicans than it is to the Democrats. So, the majority of the Texas legislature may at least be receptive to the idea of a move. Whether it comes to pass...
Well, that's a different story.
Still, we can put Texas up on the big board now to join the other handful of states that are actually looking into moving forward in 2012 and not back like a few others. It is more likely in Texas' case than in North Carolina and Oregon, I'll say that.
* Speaking of secession, I couldn't resist the urge to draw up a Texas-less map. The electoral college map looks strange with that gaping hole and without the second of its Florida-Texas legs holding it up.
** Here's what I wrote about Texas back in the summer of 2007:
Texas:Sadly, the link to the story in the original post is dead now. I'll have to try to find that somewhere else and link it back here.
The plan that made its way through the Texas legislature (HB 2017) to move the primary from the first Tuesday in March to February 5 did not fail because it didn't have bipartisan support in both chambers. It failed because of opposition from both in and outside the capitol. County election clerks fretted over the impact the move would have on local elections (Texas law requires that the presidential and the state and local primaries be held on the same date.). Office-holding candidates seeking higher office (including some in the legislature, no doubt) also protested because filing to run would take place in 2007 (the year before the election), which under the Texas Constitution would force them to vacate their currently held offices. The last action taken on HB 2017 was on May 23, just four days before the legislature adjourned.
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