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The Democratic Party primary contest, coming out of Super Tuesday's chaotic mishmash of primaries and caucuses in 22 states, looks much as it did going in.

The matchup between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remains much too close to call. As the returns dribbled in Tuesday night, Utah jumped from the Clinton win column to Obama's, where it eventually settled.

Now, with the votes all in, we would count Utah's participation in the first Super Tuesday as a win for the state, especially its Democrats.

In reddest-of-the-red Utah, this primary election was extremely important to Democrats. With its 29 delegates, Utah became a political player. A bit player, it's true, but that's a big step forward for the mostly marginalized Utah Dems. Both Obama and Clinton bought substantial television time here, a first for the state.

Elsewhere, Clinton won the night's biggest prize, California, largely on the strength of the Hispanic and Asian votes. She won in New York, her home state, as well as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona, Missouri and Arkansas, where she was first lady for a dozen years.

Obama won Connecticut, North Dakota, Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Minnesota, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Alaska and his home state of Illinois.

However, the party's system of awarding delegates in proportion to a candidate's percentage of the vote, so that the second-place finisher in every state will also win delegates, makes it difficult for Clinton or Obama to pull ahead by much.

In Utah, Obama, the statewide winner, takes eight delegates and the remaining 15 are doled out by congressional district. Six of Utah's 29 Democratic delegates will remain unpledged until later.

Obama's campaign presence in Utah apparently paid off. He has operated two field offices here and his wife spoke at a rally Monday. He was endorsed by a number of prominent Utah Democrats. Clinton did send her daughter, Chelsea, and husband Bill, to Utah for brief appearances.

Obama's win here cements Utah's long-standing snub of the Clintons. Former President Bill Clinton came in an embarrassing third behind both George H.W. Bush and third-party candidate Ross Perot in 1992.

Another factor that might account for Obama's victory: Utah's population is the youngest in the nation, and Obama's message has resonated with young voters across the country.