After election day in Utah-04, Democrat Jim Matheson was ahead of Mia Love by 2,646 votes.

But there were approximately 72,000 provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted.  The results for the final canvass are being released today.  We will update.

6:10 p.m. — Final results in, Matheson wins by 768 votes, just outside margin for recount.

6 p.m. ET — Waiting for Salt Lake County.  Matheson lead now down to 1,051 votes.

5:15 p.m. ET — Keep in mind that the 23,000 votes still to be counted are from a county Matheson won, so Love would have to seriously outperform on the absentee and provisional ballots to make up the 1,331 difference.

4:50 p.m. ET — With Salt Lake County still to report, Matheson is up by 1,331 votes.

3:40 p.m. ETInteresting fact.  Although Mia Love was supposed to be the highest priority for Republicans, ” [t]he Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Majority PAC and other Democratic-aligned outside groups spent about $2.3 million against Love, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That is slightly more than what the National Republican Congressional Committee and GOP groups spent against Matheson.”

3:10 p.m. ET — Apparently the biggest remaining county, Salt Lake, will not announce its results until 4 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Eastern).  Matheson won that county by approximately 15,000 votes out of approximately 180,000 cast.  So Love would have to do better than she did in the general election in that county to make up the current (unofficial) 1,453 deficit.  There are approximately 23,000 votes still to be counted in the portion of Salt Lake County which is in the 4th District.

2:20 p.m. ET — via STrib:

Clerks in Salt Lake, Utah, Sanpete and Juab counties have processed about 72,000 absentee and provisional ballots since the election and the respective county commissions and councils will make the tallies official today.

Juab County was the first to certify its election results, but the new numbers barely dinged Matheson’s lead. Love picked up 27 new votes to 24 for Matheson, cutting his lead by just three votes.

The Associated Press reported that Love was gaining nearly 1,200 votes on her home turf in Utah County with the release of an early, unofficial recount by election clerks, subject to change before they become certified later in the day. Clerks said they were still verifying and counting provisional ballots.

Those tentative figures narrowed Matheson’s overall lead in the four-county district to 1,453 votes from 2,646, according to the AP.

Both campaigns have said they do not anticipate the provisional and absentee ballots to sway the outcome of the election, as they are likely to not differ significantly from the votes on Election Day.

But, while the mathematical realities for Love are daunting, there are enough ballots outstanding that if a big proportion went her way, she could overtake the six-term congressman, the only Democrat in Utah’s delegation.

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