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The Brief: Nov. 1, 2010

Ah, that unmistakable pre-Election Day buzz.

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Ah, that unmistakable pre-Election Day buzz.

With polls opening in less than 24 hours, it's a time — amid the last-minute scrambling and Comedy Central-branded rallying — to reflect, look forward and prognosticate.

In fact, the Tribune's got all three covered for you today, with Reeve Hamilton's overview of the gubernatorial campaigns, Ross Ramsey and Evan Smith's look beyond Election Day, and Texas Weekly's new insider guessing game.

Not everyone's got that buzz, mind you. As Democrats nationwide brace for potentially devastating losses, they face the same worries in Texas, where — as the final installment of the Hot List shows — D's in congressional and legislative races are still in red-hot trouble. And that's putting it mildly. State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-San Marcos, for instance, looks vulnerable, and a poll shows Republican Dee Margo leading Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody in El Paso.

Bill White, too, spent the weekend campaigning in the face of daunting odds, dismissing polls showing Gov. Rick Perry coasting on his way to a third term in office. Both traveled the state this weekend to rally their bases, though Perry had time — and, if polls are to be believed, enough of a lead — to take in a football game.

And for those of you just tired of election season and ready for Nov. 3, you're not alone.

CULLED:

  • In a reprieve from the election-related news, Tom DeLay's corruption trial is set to begin today. But besides the obvious interest in the fate of the Hammer (jail time?), what are the trial's statewide implications? The Trib's Morgan Smith reports.

"We are all going to basically be standing in the warm Texas October sun to watch television instead of staying home on our perfectly comfortable couches in a pretty misguided attempt to prove our sanity."Henri Mazza, emcee of the Austin companion event to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "sanity" rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday

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