Media to play the Mormon card? Utah still holds to 'traditional family' roles. Hatch's cash holdings offer big leg up heading into a primary.
Happy Thursday. How Mitt Romney's Mormon faith will affect the presidential election this fall is unclear but a New York Times contributor says that for the LDS religion to make a difference, the Obama White House needs the news media to play the card.
-> Says the author, "Not through overt attacks on Mormon theology and practice, which would be out of bounds for most mainstream outlets. Rather, the Obama campaign's best-case scenario involves a wave of theoretically evenhanded coverage come August and September - newsmagazine cover stories on Mormon theology, 60 Minutes specials on L.D.S. history, pieces about Romney's own family tree - that end up reminding undecided voters of the things that they find strange and alien about the Republican nominee's faith." [NYTimes]
Topping the news: While families across the nation are moving to a more "modern family" structure, newly-released Census data reveals that Utah still maintains a more traditional family unit, perhaps influenced by the Mormon culture throughout the state. [Trib]
-> Hatch has the leg up in the road to the primary, amassing nearly 13 times the cash of opponent Dan Liljenquist. [Trib]
-> A handful of BYU alums in Congress are seeking keep the block Y on the mountain above Provo right where it is for years to come. [DNews]
Happy Birthday: To state Sen. John Valentine.
Happening Today: Gov. Gary Herbert holds his monthly news conference at the KUED studios at 10 a.m.
In other news: Hatch offered bonuses to some campaign staffers if they could avoid a primary election -- a common move in political efforts. [UtahPolicy]
-> Robert Gehrke runs down the allegations in the 2nd District Republican race as the party prepares to launch a probe. [Trib]
-> A Ute tribe is joining forces with environmental groups to sue Deseret Power over un-checked pollution from its coal-fired power plant. [Trib]
-> Meanwhile, several Utah counties receiving failing grades for air quality. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley shares his take on the way John Edwards chooses to manage his wallet. [Trib]
-> A rundown of the legislative primaries this year that await voters. [UtahPolicy]
2012 Watch: It's finally over for Newt Gingrich, his campaign announced, after the Republican sunk deep into debt and won just two states. [LATimes]
-> With Gingrich bowing out of the presidential race, CBS news takes a look at what the former House Speaker has said about Mitt Romney. [CBSNews]
-> President Barack Obama is set to hold his first official re-election event on May 5 in the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia. [Bloomberg]
-> Stephen Colbert's super PAC, Americans for A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, has raised more cash than some PACs associated with legitimate candidate Ron Paul. [ABCNews]
-> In the duel to the presidency, Romney's crutch is likability, Obama's is the economy. [CSMonitor]
-> Romney nabs another endorsement from former rival, Rick Perry, saying the former Massachusetts governor "earned the nomination." [HuffPost]
-> Obama pushes his stance on maintaining student loan interest rates to capture the youth vote. [CNN]
Where are they?
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-- Thomas Burr and Laura Schmitz