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The Brief: Oct. 29, 2010

In these last few days, no news is good news if you're Rick Perry.

BIll White, Rick Perry at their Primary 2010 reception speeches.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

In these last few days, no news is good news if you're Gov. Rick Perry.

And today's news — if polls are to be trusted — isn't really news at all: Gov. Rick Perry is up by 12 points over opponent Bill White.

Those are the latest, and perhaps last, numbers on the race before the big day on Tuesday. And they conform with the steady drumbeat of polls within the last two weeks that have shown Perry with at least a 9-point lead over White.

"The big story here is that Perry finally seems to have sealed the deal," a pollster tells The Dallas Morning News, one of the five big-city papers in the state for which the poll was conducted.

Though Perry didn't hit the magic 50-percent mark in this poll, his double-digit lead looks insurmountable for White at this point. (Another poll released Thursday showed Perry with a 9-point lead.) That's not stopping White from trying, though. He spent Thursday jogging through an El Paso neighborhood knocking on doors for votes.

White's campaign, too, is dismissing the results. "We'll see poll-apalooza leading up to Election Day, but people are voting and Texans are ready for a leader like Bill White," White spokeswoman Katy Bacon tells the Morning News. "We have an enormous and effective field operation with thousands of volunteers getting out the vote."

Interestingly, the newspaper poll showed Green Party candidate Deb Shafto running ahead of Libertarian Kathie Glass, who has been polling in the 5- to 8-percent range. Shafto pulled 3 percent compared to Glass' 2 percent. (There's your real news of the day.)

CULLED:

  • Excuse the Brief's shameless self-promotion, but today marks the first day of the Tribune's partnership with The New York Times, about which we couldn't be more excited. Tribune stories will run Fridays and Sundays in the print pages of the Times and on nytimes.com's new Texas Report page, where you might spot a familiar shade of yellow. Kicking off the partnership: Matt Stiles, with a report on prolific GOP donor Bob Perry, and Kate Galbraith, who has a look at courthouse renovation funding. Both stories also appear on our site.
  • Bill White goes positive with his new TV spot, one of his last before the big day, touting his endorsements from newspapers across the state.

"My reaction to Rick Perry's ad, there is not an English word for it. It's called asco. It makes you gag. It's in disgust." — State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, on the recent Perry ad blaming Bill White for the death of a Houston police officer on White's support of so-called sanctuary city policies during his tenure as Houston mayor. Texas House and Senate Democrats blasted the ad on Thursday, accusing the governor of promoting Arizona-style immigration laws.

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