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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
News roundup: Romney's potential new Mormon ward

Obama up seven points. Huntsman: the GOP has changed. 39 days until Election Day.

Happy Friday. Should Mitt Romney become the newest resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, members of Washington, D.C.'s Mormon Third Ward say they would welcome him with open arms, despite the fact that a majority of them are Democrats. [WaPost]

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-> Pictures of Romney's potential church, located on 16th Street, a straight shot from the White House. [WaPost]

Topping the news: The Fix takes a look at the polls across the country and notes that while some prognosticators are saying this presidential election could be a blow out, it's not going to happen. [WaPost]

-> Rep. Jim Matheson and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love get into another spirited debate with Matheson attacking Love for extreme cuts and Love fighting back with Obamacare votes.

-> Jon Huntsman spoke at the sold-out Equality Utah annual dinner Thursday where he said he hasn't changed but his party has and explained why he came out for civil unions. [Trib] [DNews] [KCPW] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy]

-> After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid disses on Romney's Mormonism, the Obama campaign says, "Reid speaks for himself." [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @gopTODD: "@JonHuntsman just referred to himself as a 'failed musician, and pretty much a failed politician.'"

Happy birthday: To blogger/radio host J.M. Bell and Senate candidate Scott Howell.

In other news: A state-sponsored study conducted last year found that state employees make 10 percent less than private sector employees, but new study conducted by Citizens Against Government Waste claims Utah state employees make $4/hour more than their private counterparts. [Trib]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert says Republicans "lose the 'I care' debate" within the Latino community. [Trib]

-> Herbert said he won't nominate someone from EnergySolutions to be on the state board that oversees radioactive waste disposal and is instead looking for a more "transparent" option. [Trib]

-> Democratic challenger Peter Cooke criticizes the Herbert administration for its lack of transparency and oversight. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake County reveals a neutral website about the feasibility of Millcreek's potential as a township-turned-city. [Trib]

-> Utah conservationists ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to keep gray wolves on the Endangered Species list. [Trib]

-> Planners are looking to "cluster" new communities along the Wasatch Front to compensate for impending growth along the Wasatch Front, a method that will consolidate neighborhoods and business around transit centers, decreasing commutes and pollution. [Trib]

-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss this week in politics, including the 4th District race and Romney's chances of pulling out a win. [UtahPolicy]

-> Thomas Burr talks to KCPW's Jeff Robinson about his story on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid going after Romney on Mormonism. [KCPW]

-> Paul Rolly reports that come GOP activists are concerned after the Utah County Republican Party gave to Salt Lake County candidates. [Trib]

2012 watch: Romney and Obama spent time wooing Virginia's veterans on Thursday. [ChiTrib] [WaTimes] [WaPost]

-> Romney claimed he would invest more into the military. [NYTimes] Obama said he'd stop the "devastating job losses" faced by veterans. [NYTimes]

-> Romney calls veteran suicides a "crisis" -- but his running mate voted against a bill that proposed an additional $20 million in funding toward suicide prevention assistance and therapy. [BuzzFeed]

-> A new Reuters/Ipsos survey gives Obama with a seven point lead over Romney. [Reuters]

-> The must-see picture for Romney supporters of a young Mitt on his LDS mission in France where he carved out a love note in the sand to his future wife. [Time]

-> Unscripted, Obama risks seeming uncertain or condescending in the coming debates, while Romney struggles most with appearing stiff or out of touch. [Reuters] Both campaigns, however, recognize that their opponents will provide a tough debate. [CBSNews]

-> A poll conducted by Reason Magazine shows 77 percent of Libertarians voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket. [BuzzFeed]

-> A new Obama ad features 30 seconds of remarks from Romney's controversial "47 percent" videos. [ABCNews]

-> New polls show Obama leading in North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire, three swing states the campaigns are spending a lot of energy on. [BusinessWeek]

Where are they?

  • Gov. Gary Herbert meets with SLC Mayor Ralph Becker, attends the Annual Centenarian Celebration and heads to the Utah Food Bank for a service project.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon hits the Envision Utah retreat and then dines with a visiting Chinese delegation.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder hosts dinner at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center for the visiting dignitaries and opens the Chinese Heritage Gate.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with Herbert and later with Corroon before attending the Baha'i Community of Utah Celebration Dinner.
  • President Barack Obama holds campaign events in Washington, D.C.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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