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Matheson Brand Trumped Top of the Ticket in Utah

Kim Raff/The Salt Lake Tribune/Associated Press
By casting himself as an independent thinker, Matheson, a Blue Dog Democrat, was able to overcome a challenge from Love, a rising GOP star, despite running for re-election in both a state and a district that heavily favored Republicans.

The Matheson campaign polled a lot, Anzalone said, and the race was “dead even” during the final five weeks of the campaign. As two newspaper-sponsored polls released the weekend before the election showed Love with a sizeable lead, the Matheson campaign’s tracking ended with Matheson ahead by a single point. That’s where the final result stood as of Thursday, though votes were still being counted.

“The basic thrust of the campaign was just reminding people what they like about Jim, and that’s about it,” Crounse said. “It was hard, and she was a tough opponent, but people really appreciate who Jim is.”

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