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"We're at the End of the Third Quarter of a Basketball Game, and We're Tied at 75."

Just minutes after the Mavs lost to the Nuggets on a last-minute three-pointer, a campaign staffer for the Vote No folks reported the early-vote tallies on a chalkboard in the middle of The Loft dining room. It was hard to discern any type of reaction from a crowd still stung by the Mavs' loss, but Carol Reed, the campaign's maestra, seemed (mildly) pleased.

"We're at the end of the third quarter of a basketball game, and we're tied at 75," she said.

Reed says that during the arena campaign, her side was down by 12 and finished strong to pull out a super-tight victory. This time around, she says, "I think we closed really strong."

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In a serious case of role reversal, Carol Reed was -- for the first time ever? -- on the small-money end of an election and wasn't afraid to trot out a strain of an argument that she's no doubt heard before.

"The fact that they spent so much money not to carry the early vote by a wider margin is pretty astounding to me," she says.

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