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But Mr. Munieri said he thinks his state is so big that even under proportional representation, his state could give the most conservative candidate a big bloc of votes and therefore, early front-runner status.

Former Texas GOP Chairman Tina Benkiser said a similar attempt to move the Texas primary up for the 2008 elections failed by one vote in the state’s Legislature.

“In 1976, Texas delivered 100 out of our 100 delegates to Ronald Reagan, despite the party establishment’s nearly unanimous support of President Gerald Ford,” Mr. Munisteri said. “That Texas win pushed Reagan back into the national scene, allowing him to win three primaries in a row and to be so competitive in 1976 that he was able to become our president four years later.”