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Republicans gear up in case Texas is a player


The following ran in the Feb. 4, 2012, edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

February 8, 2012

By Dave Mongomery

AUSTIN -- With the Texas primary date tied up in a legal battle over redistricting, no one is sure what impact Texas voters will have on the outcome of the Republican presidential race. But that's not stopping Alice Linahan from making calls and rallying the troops.

Linahan, a Tea Party activist in Argyle and one of Rick Santorum's three state coordinators, has been busily laying the groundwork for a potential primary battle in Texas. "We don't know if Texas will come into play with the delay, but it's looking like it could," she said. "What we're doing is preparing."

With Gov. Rick Perry out of the race, Texas supporters of the GOP's final four -- Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Santorum -- are mobilizing in case the nation's second-largest state assumes a marquee role in the selection of the nominee.

While many experts believe that Texas will be irrelevant by the time of its primary, others say it's far too early to automatically dismiss Texas and its huge prize of Republican delegates....

Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said Texas "is unlikely to play a major role" since Romney is beginning to look more and more like the nominee and could soon build an insurmountable lead....

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