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The Brief: Nov. 3, 2014

It's the day before Election Day, meaning time for everybody to take a deep breath in anticipation of what might unfold on Tuesday. Here's what you might have missed over a busy weekend on the political front.

Signs greeting early voters are shown in October 2014 outside the Lakeside Activity Center in Mesquite.

The Big Conversation

It's the day before Election Day, meaning time for everybody to take a deep breath in anticipation of what might unfold on Tuesday. Here's what you might have missed over a busy weekend on the political front.

Candidates criss-crossed the state in a last-ditch effort to get their voters out to the polls. That includes Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte on a bus, GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott making a pit stop in Fort Worth to take in some NASCAR, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis going to church for votes.

What's at stake? For Republicans, it's their continued hegemony in the Lone Star State. For Democrats, it's about demonstrating some momentum that can be sustained past Tuesday, although worries abound that a below expectations performance by Davis could damage Battleground Texas, the multi-year operation to turn the state blue.

And while the Governor's Mansion is reckoned the big prize, the stakes are big for the composition of the state Senate as well as the chamber's direction under a new presiding officer. Some local races are also grabbing the spotlight, such as the race for district attorney in Dallas County, where the incumbent — once a rising star in state Democratic politics — is fighting for his political life.

As some governmental bodies scrutinize the potential for fraud in the upcoming elections, the word on early voting is that turnout is down. Low voter participation in Texas is not a new phenomenon, but perhaps voters can take comfort in knowing they won't be asked to come out to vote again after Tuesday: The state does not hold runoffs after the general elections.

The Day Ahead

•    The major-party candidates for governor make one last "get out the vote" push ahead of Tuesday's general election. GOP nominee Greg Abbott visits Dallas and Houston with Chuck Norris and GOP state comptroller candidate Glenn Hegar before winding up the day in Austin. Democratic nominee Wendy Davis kicks off community block walks in Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

Trib Must-Reads

Beyond Wins and Losses, What to Watch Tuesday, by Aman Batheja

Life Inside a Man Camp, by Tamir Kalifa

Residents of a Forgotten Town Flee to Texas, by Julián Aguilar

Analysis: A U.S. Senate with a Texan at the Top?, by Ross Ramsey

Elsewhere

Border Patrol makes many arrests deep in the heart of Texas, Austin American-Statesman

If adopted, Denton fracking ban would face legal tests, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Cruz provides the assist, but he’s looking beyond Tuesday, Washington Post

Little demand for voter ID cards, but some hit obstacles, Houston Chronicle

Web is way for Patrick campaign, San Antonio Express-News

A Flood of Late Spending on Midterm Elections, From Murky Sources, The New York Times

FCC weighs new ad disclosure rules for 2016, The Hill

Eagle Ford giving new life to ghost town, San Antonio Express-News

Quote to Note

“Hmph! Well, they’re not anything like us. We’re both pro-white, but our politics are very different.”

— Jeff Schoep of the Michigan-based neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy on the differences between his group and the Ku Klux Klan. The two groups are holding rallies in East Texas this weekend.

Today in TribTalk

Why minorities should vote for Abbott, by Stefani Carter

Why minorities should vote for Davis, by Nicole Collier

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Live Post-Election TribCast, featuring Tribune editors and reporters on the election results, on Nov. 5 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick on Nov. 6 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Dec. 4 at The Austin Club

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