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The Brief: Nov. 2, 2010

The big day's here, and the Tribune has an endorsement.

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

The big day's here, and the Tribune has an endorsement.

You, voting.

That might be a needless recommendation if you're a regular reader of The Brief, but yes, the big day's finally here. Polls open at 7 a.m., and much is at stake statewide. Need some help finding your polling location? It's now as easy as a Google search.

The gubernatorial candidates, in the state's marquee battle, were making last-minute pitches to voters Monday. But amid polls showing Gov. Rick Perry poised to win this third term in office, talk has turned to Perry's post-Nov. 2 political ambitions. He'll soon set out on a national tour to promote his new book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington (excerpts of which recently appeared online), and word came Monday that the he's even in discussions to appear on The Daily Show.

Need a refresher on the race? The Trib's got a nifty timeline chronicling the trajectory of the campaigns. Need more than that? Ross Ramsey's viewer's guide highlights what to look for tonight and why it matters. (The governor's race is now just the tip of the iceberg of electoral drama, for one.) And Elise Hu has a guide to the Trib's Election Night coverage, which will include live results, a live blog, a Twitter ticker, Trib reporters on TV and the radio, and interactive apps.

And while on the subject of ourselves, we're also taking a little time today to celebrate a little something special in house: our first birthday. One year removed from our launch date, "the amount we've learned since then is as big as the freaking internet," says our editor-in-chief. And it all culminates with our anniversary party tonight in Austin, also doubling as an election watch party.

That won't keep us from the important stuff, though. Come back at 7 p.m., when the site switches into election mode after polls close and results begin to pour in. Until then …

CULLED:

  • Seven days, $8 million. It was a big last week for political donors looking to make a last-minute splash in races both big and small.
  • Comptroller Susan Combs had more bad budget news Monday, announcing that recent state tax collection has fallen $2 billion short of her 2009 prediction.

"36 hours and we’ll all be out of our misery — especially the voters." — Republican Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to on the campaign's final stretch

MUST-READ:

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