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In Utah’s closely watched tossup House race between Rep. Jim Matheson (D) and his Republican challenger, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, the incumbent eked out a victory. Matheson, a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, collected 49 percent of the votes. Love, a speaker at the Republican National Convention this summer in Tampa who would have become the first black Republican woman to serve in Congress, received 48 percent of the vote.
In the Beehive State’s far less competitive Senate race, incumbent Orrin Hatch (R) cruised to victory over his Democratic challenger Scott Howell, a former state Senate Minority Leader. Hatch’s real race was his primary skirmish against ex-state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.
At 78, Hatch has said this term, his seventh, will be his last one.
Even less competitive than Hatch’s general election race, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso (R) won re-election with more than 75 percent of the vote, easily defeating the Democrat, Albany County Commissioner Tim Chestnut.
Wyoming also voted overwhelmingly for its House member, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), who won big over Democrat Chris Henrichsen, a political science professor.
Ditto for Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (R), a freshman lawmaker who beat his Democratic challenger, former NFL wide receiver Jimmy Farris, and Rep. Mike Simpson (R), who trounced his challenger Democrat Nicole LeFavour. Each incumbent won more than 60 percent of the vote.