Donations to Obama, Romney close to even in western Salt Lake Valley
Washington • The race between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama won't be decided by the western part of Salt Lake Valley, but residents are throwing money at both candidates to help them compete in key battlegrounds.
Democrat Obama has raised nearly $24,244 among residents of the west Salt Lake Valley so far this election cycle, compared with Romney's $31,811, according to the Federal Election Commission reports on donations through the end of September.
Statewide, Utahns have contributed about $7.4 million to the Republican presidential nominee, far more than the $1.5 million Obama has raised from the Beehive State. In the communities of Bingham Canyon, Kearns, Magna, Taylorsville and West Valley City, donations are more evenly split between the two major candidates.
Vickie Samuelson, a West Valley City resident, has donated $200 to the president's campaign since July. A retired telephone company employee, Samuelson said it was the president's "bold and great ideas" that inspired her to donate.
"I'm happy with what he tried to do and did do in his first term," Samuelson said. "I want to keep moving forward rather than backward. I at least know where he stands on issues, where with Romney I don't have a clue and it changes day to day."
The area, of course, isn't populated with Democrats alone.
Dora Corbett, a 91-year-old retired key-punch operator, has donated a total of nearly $1,000 to Romney's cause over the past 10 months. She said she's even put his name on the prayer roll of three Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples.
"He's the best man," Corbett said. "He's trying to make America like it should be. I even supported him during his first campaign when he didn't make it," she added, referring to his 2008 bid.
Romney has led in every single poll in Utah and dominated the Republican primary in the state, carrying 93 percent of the vote. Many Utahns share Romney's Mormon faith, and residents are quite familiar with him because of his work in leading the successful 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Residents in the West Valley area voted about 49 percent for McCain in 2008 and 48 percent for Obama.