That sound you hear is Texas Republicans crying in their beer.
Rick Santorum’s withdrawal today from the 2012 presidential contest makes Texas Republicans, once again, all but irrelevant in their party’s nomination process.
The drawn-out nature of the race had given party activists rare hope that this would be the most competitive presidential primary since 1976, when Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford duked it out in a contest that didn’t end until the party’s convention.
But a legal fight this year over redistricting pushed the Texas primary to May 29 from early March.
“Certainly if we had gone in March, we would have a much larger voice in this process,” Republican Party spokesman Chris Elam said. “It was the federal [redistricting] trial in San Antonio that kept moving our date back.”
Well, that and the fact that they waited till June to pass a Congressional map, then bypassed the Justice Department in favor of litigating in the DC federal court – they still haven’t issued a ruling, by the way – then appealed the interim map to the Supreme Court even though it was still quite Republican-friendly. I mean, we’d be more than a week into Early Voting right now if Greg Abbott had sucked it up and accepted the San Antonio court’s first map. Sure, they got a better map for themselves (for this year, anyway) as a result, but in return they missed out on participating in the Presidential primary. Only they can answer the question whether that’s a worthwhile trade or not.
Elam pointed out that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul are still in the race.
One word: Newtmentum! Don’t let Mr. Sweater Vest’s absence prevent you from giving a black eye to Mitt Romney, y’all. It’s your solemn duty. Texas On The Potomac and Trail Blazers have more. Oh, and be sure to see the slightly NSFW video about a particular anti-Santorum interest group here. We sure will miss you, Ricky.