The way "the rest of the country" does that doesn't matter. The rest of the country doesn't have the population spread out as much as Texas. While Alaska is bigger, 90% of Alaska's population lives in 10% of its area. The majority of the state is wilderness. Your solution simply isn't practical.
In a significant portion of the US, the "state" contest is an hour or two from the house of the kids living there. No overnight needed. Your solution simply doesn't make sense.