Texas Republicans will allocate their presidential primary delegates next year differently than it has in the past.
The State Republican Executive Committee met over the weekend and agreed to change its delegate allocation to comply with Republican National Committee rules, party spokesman Chris Elam said.
The RNC passed a rule last year requiring that states that hold primaries before April 1 must allocate their delegates proportionally by how much support each candidate receives statewide. States not in compliance risk losing half of their delegates.
Texas is planning for a March 6 primary and in the past has used a complicated system that only allocates some delegates proportionally. Other delegates are assigned by a winner-take-all system within each congressional district.
Over the weekend, the SREC unanimously agreed to a new system that, while still complicated, ultimately ensures that the Texas delegation to next year's Republican National Convention will be proportional to the statewide primary vote.
The change will be noticable on the evening of March 6, when it should be easier to quickly determine how each candidate fared in Texas. If, say, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul equally split the primary vote in Texas next year, then each will get a third of the state's delegates. In 2008, calculating the delegate allocation would have involved looking closely at the results in each congressional district.
Elam said he was confident the RNC will deem the new system as in compliance with RNC rules.
The change for Texas comes at the same time multiple states are flouting RNC rules and moving their primaries to January to ensure they help pick next year's presidential nominee. Elam said many Texas Republicans hope the RNC keeps its word and strips those states of half their delegates.
"Texas has worked very hard to comply with the RNC rules," Elam said. "I think there would be a good deal of outrage in Texas if the other states were not penalized."
(We've posted the Texas Republican Party's new presidential primary rules here.)