Rick Santorum, trying to keep his presidential hopes alive despite increasingly long odds, is looking for the political equivalent of a Hail Mary pass from Texas Republicans.

Santorum has noted in recent days that some Texas party activists are waging an uphill battle to change the rules of the May 29 primary so that whoever wins would get all 152 delegates up for grabs in the contest. The activists, led by Santorum supporters, say they have enough support to force an emergency meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee, though major hurdles loom beyond that.

The Republican National Committee would have to approve the last-ditch move to change the delegate selection process because of the late date of the request, officials say. An RNC official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that would be highly unlikely. Later, the RNC communications director, Sean Spicer, said there is "no basis" for a change and that Texas would "remain a proportional state," according to a posting on Twitter from The Washington Post.

The change might also require approval from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Under current rules, Texas Republicans award their delegates proportionately, depending on the percentage that each candidate receives in the primary. That means former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney can count on a big share of the delegates even if Santorum wins a majority of the Texas primary vote.

For Santorum, changing to a winner-take-all scenario in Texas — were he to win the state — could change the dynamics of a presidential race he appears destined to lose at this point.

“Now that is a game-changer for us,” Santorum said Wednesday on The Dom Giordano Program, a Pennsylvania radio show. He said that with all of the Texas delegates, and perhaps some delegates who would defect from former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, “all of sudden this race doesn’t become as long a shot as the media would tend to dictate.” Santorum said he favors changing Texas to winner-take-all.

Texas has a total of 155 delegates. Of that, 152 are awarded to the candidates based on the primary vote. Another three are "superdelegates" — party honchos who can vote for the candidate of their choice. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the party's presidential nomination.

Several members of the State Republican Executive Committee are pushing the party to hold an emergency meeting to consider the rules change to go to a winner-take-all GOP primary in Texas. If 15 of the 62 members ask for a meeting, party chairman Steve Munisteri will honor the request and hold one, said GOP spokesman Chris Elam.

One of the activists in favor of the rules change, East Texas SREC member David Bellow, said he was supporting Santorum and acknowledged it could help him. But he said he wants to make Texas winner-take-all because it will make the state more relevant to the nomination process, not to help his preferred candidate.

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“We’re tired of no one caring about us,” Bellow said. "We’re tired of not getting any debates. We’re prepared to take drastic measures.” He said there were 15 members willing to ask for an emergency meeting but that they want to make sure they have enough support to pass the rule change.

Two-thirds of the SREC members present at the meeting would have to approve it, officials say. But even if the SREC approves the change, the RNC in Washington would have to grant a waiver to allow the change.

Texas already got one waiver to move the primary date to May 29, but that was because the courts delayed the primary, originally scheduled for March, while they considered changes to the district maps for Congress and members of the Legislature.

Granting a waiver just to turn Texas into a big GOP battleground — at a time when party elders like George H.W. Bush are saying it's time to rally behind Romney — might fall more into the realm of fantasy than political reality. But the move does underscore how much party activists want the Lone Star State to get a little attention in the presidential sweepstakes.

Weston Martinez, an SREC member representing part of Central Texas, said he has already made a formal request for an emergency meeting to Munisteri. Martinez is a Santorum supporter but, like Bellow, said he is seeking the change to make Texas a bigger player.

“I've received an enormous amount of support for this proposal and am encouraged that many of my colleagues feel the same way,” Martinez said.

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