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Based on Tuesday's election results, Utah remains one of the reddest of the red states, although significant cracks appeared in the Republican Party's domination of Beehive State politics.

John McCain, for example, may have bested Barack Obama among Utah voters, but the President-elect garnered more than a third of the vote, including victories in a couple of counties.

While the Utah Legislature remains firmly in GOP control, Democrats made meaningful inroads. In the course of picking up a couple of key house seats, Jay Seegmiller soundly defeated House Speaker Greg Curtis, perhaps signaling a shift to a less strident political climate.

By winning a record 78-percent of the vote, Governor Jon Huntsman underscored his enormous popularity. He won a clear mandate to advance his relatively moderate agenda, which includes an aggressive approach to dealing with climate change, advancing health system reform, and improving public education.

Aside from partisan politics, chalk one up for polar bears and birds. Despite current economic woes, Salt Lake County residents voted to raise their taxes to expand Hogle Zoo and renovate Tracy Aviary. While a few hardcore political animals may have taken it on the chin this year, the real animals scored a significant victory, and KSL couldn't be happier for them.

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