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Utah Dems: When being in the minority feels OK

Published November 6, 2012 11:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The bars closed at the Sheraton before 11:30 p.m., but the Utah Democrats partied on regardless.

While waiting for President Barack Obama to give his victory speech from Chicago, Utah Dems stayed in the Sheraton ballroom to watch more results come in from around the nation.

They cheered when Washington state seemed to be on the verge of approving same-sex marriage, and really cheered when both Washington and Colorado were in the process of legalizing marijuana. (One can imagine all the trips being booked to Seattle and Denver.)

And they really got happy when Ben McAdams took the podium to give a victory speech as the next mayor of Salt Lake County — a big win for the Dems, especially after an errant poll in the (ahem) Salt Lake Tribune had McAdams trailing Republican Mark Crockett by a wide margin.

"One thing people tell me is that this is the best campaign they've seen in Utah in years, and I agree because I only had a little to do with it," McAdams said, as he thanked his campaign staff and volunteers.

But many of the younger Dems in the audience left McAdams behind mid-speech to go find a TV to hear Obama deliver his speech — while a few rowdier Dems yelled at McAdams to cut it short.

Finally, McAdams clued in and took a time out for Obama.

And, again, the Utah Democrats — those dots of blue in a very red state — cheered wildly. And, when Obama was done, they shot off streamers in the Sheraton.

And then they announced that Jim Matheson won re-election to Congress, over Mitt Romney-endorsed Republican Mia Love, and the cheering kept going into Wednesday morning.