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Final tally: Obama wins Salt Lake County

Final tally: Obama wins Salt Lake County

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, FILE)

Updated vote tallies show that President-elect Barack Obama beat Republican John McCain in Salt Lake County by 296 votes, less than one-tenth of a percent.

The result came Tuesday after more than 29,000 provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots were counted as part of the county's official election canvass.

Obama had trailed McCain by about 1,900 votes before the provisional and absentee ballots were counted.

Democrats are hailing it as a big win in this red state. It had been decades since a Democrat claimed Salt Lake County in a presidential election. President Bush won the county by more than 20 percentage points in the last two elections.

University of Utah political science professor Tim Chambless explained, "What we are seeing is the rise in the Democratic Party, therefore the return of Utah to be a two-party state and therefore more political competition."

He says Utah followed the trend seen in neighboring swing states of Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado this year.

In Utah, Obama also won Summit County, home to Park City, and Grand County, home to Moab. But McCain easily won the state's five electoral votes.

The Salt Lake County Republican Party chair is responding basically by saying Republicans faced "considerable headwinds" this election year, and they'll be back.


(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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