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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Our wall-to-wall Election Day coverage — complete results up and down the ballot and county by county, the all-hands-on-deck Trib team on the Republican tsunami, my conversation with George W. Bush's media adviser and Rick Perry's pollster about what happened on Tuesday, Stiles and Ramsey on what 194 candidates spent per vote this election cycle, Hu on how the GOP rout will affect the substance of the next legislative session, Hamilton on the Texas Democratic Trust's unhappy end, Ramshaw and Stiles profile the new arrivals at the Capitol in January, M. Smith on what's next for Chet Edwards and Ramsey and me on six matters of politics and policy we're thinking about going forward — plus Thevenot and Butrymowicz on a possible solution to the high school dropout problem: The best of our best from Nov. 1 to 5, 2010.

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Complete 2010 general election results up and down the ballot, and county-by-county interactive results maps for statewide races.

Rick Perry won his third full term as governor of Texas on Tuesday, defeating former Houston Mayor Bill White by a convincing double-digit margin and positioning himself for a role on the national stage. And he led a Republican army that swept all statewide offices for the fourth election in a row, took out three Democratic U.S. congressmen and was on its way to a nearly two-thirds majority in the Texas House — a mark the GOP hasn't seen since the days following the Civil War.

For the 15th event in our TribLive series, I interviewed Mark McKinnon, former George W. Bush and John McCain media strategist, and Mike Baselice, Rick Perry's pollster, about what happened Tuesday night: how the Republicans took back the majority in the U.S. House and upped their number of seats in the Texas House by 30 percent, what that portends for the next two years in Austin and Washington, D.C., and whether the governor is really running for president.

Carol Kent, a freshman Democrat who unsuccessfully defended her north Dallas seat in the Texas House, spent $64.06 per vote — the most of any of the 194 candidates running for state offices in this year’s general election, according to an analysis of campaign-finance data by The Texas Tribune.

Whether you call it a wave, a rout or a tsunami, one thing is clear: Republicans in the Texas House won a massive mandate for conservative bills — and budgeting — in the coming legislative session.

The Texas Democratic Trust might have been the biggest single loser in Tuesday's general election, as Texas Republicans swept away most of the advances that the group financed and fought for during the last three election cycles. And the losses came as the Trust prepared to shut down its operations — its mission ended, if not accomplished.

When the Legislature convenes in January, more than three-dozen new members will take their seats in the Texas House — almost all of them Republicans, and many as surprised to be there as you’ll be to see them. Here’s a freshman facebook to help you keep them straight.

His resounding defeat was only one of Election Day’s many hits to the solar plexus of the state Democratic Party. But the loss of the powerful and politically talented U.S. congressman from Waco engenders the most speculation. What's next for Chet Edwards?

Yes, yes, the governor’s race: It’s tended to suck all the air out of the room this election cycle, hasn’t it? But there’s an undercard as well, and even if it’s received scant attention by comparison, don’t think it doesn’t matter. To the contrary, the outcome of races other than the one at the top of the ballot has serious implications for a great many matters of politics and policy that will affect and should interest every single Texan in the near term.

Across Texas, credit-recovery courses — self-paced online makeups offered to any student who fails — are expanding rapidly. In the spring and summer, 6,127 students in the Houston Independent School District earned nearly 10,000 credits in such courses, and another 2,500 are taking them this fall. Austin ISD and Dallas ISD enrolled about 4,000 students last year. For districts, they're a cost-effective way to bolster graduation rates, but questions remain over whether the digital curriculum offers the same quality of education as traditional courses. Little research exists on how much, or how little, learning is actually going on.

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