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Through the course of this general election, we saw state-level politicians take different strategies when it came to El Paso County.

In his campaign for governor, John Hickenlooper usually went past, over, around or through Colorado Springs without stopping. He was looking to build a statewide voting bloc, and unlike Bill Ritter in 2006, Hickenlooper didn't appear to be aiming for a certain number or percentage here.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet also paid less attention to this area than the rest of Colorado in his race against Ken Buck — until the final few weeks, when Bennet's supporters worked extremely hard to push for a better local turnout. The word was that Bennet felt 37 percent in El Paso County would guarantee him a victory.

In the end, Hickenlooper got that 37 percent here, while Bennet managed only 34 percent. And while Hickenlooper won the state by a majority, instead of the expected plurality, Bennet probably won't know his outcome until a recount, including provisional (contested) votes, can be completed under the intense scrutiny of national media and both major parties.

The bottom line appears to be that 37 percent for a Democrat is close to the maximum in El Paso County, which proved again Tuesday that the Republicans still rule this roost. Perhaps not every nook and cranny, but almost.

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