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Democratic officials looking at Utah race
Democratic campaign committee taking closer look at Utah Senate race in case Matheson enters
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Democratic officials sense a rare opportunity to win a U.S. Senate race in Utah and are laying the groundwork to help if Rep. Jim Matheson runs for the seat now held by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The Democratic committee that coordinates the efforts of Senate candidates generally doesn't pay much attention to Utah. It makes little sense to devote resources to a state where the GOP candidate typically wins in a landslide.

But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's interest in Utah has picked up in recent weeks, exemplified by a series of press releases and the purchase of online ads. It's a small investment that nevertheless signals a shift in thinking.

The emphasis on Utah comes as two polls showed Matheson running virtually even with Hatch in a hypothetical matchup.

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