Texas a Player in the Presidential Race?

Texas is to presidential politics what parents are to college students — remote players whose money is critical but whose votes don’t really matter.

The state’s political donors gave 19.7 percent of the money raised by Super PACs during this election cycle so far (January 2011 to June 2012), according to a report from MapLight, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics. Those PACs, by their count, have raised $308.7 million so far, including $60.4 million from Texas. The candidates don’t come here for votes — Republicans, both parties assume, have Texas in the bag. But both sides still come for the money, and to a few other pockets of cash: Nationally, two-thirds of the Super PAC money has come from Texas, Nevada, California, New York and Washington, DC.