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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll on the Senate and presidential races, state races, anti-tax pledges, life and death, and other policy issues, Grissom and Murphy on prison exonerations in Texas, Hamilton visits Texas A&M's campus in Qatar, Murphy and Whitney chart some political endorsements, E. Smith asks Sen. John Carona about Dan Patrick, why he supports Democrats and what he thinks of the governor's anti-tax pledge, and Dehn's latest Weekend Insider: The best of our best content from May 21 to 25, 2012.

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U.S. Senate rivals David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz are only 9 percentage points apart in the Republican primary race, and the chances of a runoff are high. Democrats are likely to see a runoff in their primary as well.

The two crowded primary races for the Texas Railroad Commission could be headed for runoffs, as candidates try to win attention from voters who haven't tuned in to those contests.

Only 36 percent of Texans think candidates for office should make anti-tax pledges before the fiscal situation is clear, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Forty-seven percent oppose such pledges.

Texans favor the death penalty, even with the alternative of life without parole. They are also nominally in favor of abortion rights and are more likely than not to favor medically assisted suicide for terminal patients.

Texans dislike Congress and rank the courts as their favorite branch of government. They're also hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn all or part of the federal health care law.

Researchers at two law schools Monday released an unprecedented listing of all the exoneration cases from the last 23 years. Only two states had more exonerations than Texas, according to the report.

As Texas A&M University prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its campus in Qatar, planning has already begun for the next decade.

Endorsements stack up, so we've prepared a big spreadsheet to show you who is getting the political support of some prominent interest groups, trade groups and political action committees.

At this week's TribLive conversation, state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, defended — and expanded on — his now-infamous comments about state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston. Carona explained why it's okay for a "committed conservative" to host fundraisers for and give money to Democrats. And he discussed his opposition to Gov. Rick Perry's anti-tax pledge, which he says is "disrespectful" to the "adults" in the Legislature.

In the newest Texas Tribune Weekend Insider, we look at two Texas higher-education institutions finding success in the Middle East, and discuss the results of the most recent UT/Texas Tribune poll.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

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