Voters believe in Santa. New Utahns help boost economy. Hatch: Mormons are Christians.
Happy Tuesday. Some fun numbers this morning out of Public Policy Polling, which asked Americans questions about Ol' Saint Nick two weeks before Christmas:
-> 44 percent of respondents said Santa was a Democrat while 28 percent say he is a Republican;
-> 54 percent of those polled said they feared the looming "fiscal cliff" could cause Santa to cut back on presents;
-> 52 percent of voters say they believe in Santa, while 80 percent said they were on his "nice" list versus 11 percent who owned up to being on the "naughty" side of things.
Topping the news: More people moved into Utah in 2012 than moved out of it, a sign of an attractive -- and growing -- economy. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch sets out to prove that Mormons are Christians. He also asks that people refer to his faith not as Mormon but as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [USNews]
-> Rep. Christine Watkins is leaving the Democratic Party after losing her re-election bid and jumping to the Republican side. [Trib]
-> A blind Utahn is appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Access board, a group responsible for contributing to policy about access to building, vehicles and information technology for the disabled. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @GarrettQuinn: "Karl Rove is still insisting GMail is not down in Ohio."
Happy birthday: To Carter Livingston and Bart Barker. And belated wishes to Maura Carabello, who celebrated her birthday on Dec. 8.
In other news: Sen. Hatch asks President Barack Obama to repeal the "death tax," saying it doesn't make sense in a "thriving economy." He blames the tax on the selling of family farms. [TheHill]
-> Bob Bernick says there are some surprises in the state Senate committee assignments. [UtahPolicy]
-> A distinct line is forming in politics in Salt Lake County, as this year's election shows. [UtahPolicy]
-> Sen. Mike Lee defends his vote against a U.N. treaty on disabled people in an op-ed. [USAToday]
-> With the demise of Yucca Mountain, the hunt is still on for a national nuclear dumping ground. [Trib]
-> Two hearings are set on SL County's proposed tax hike. [Trib]
-> Utah County is poised to get its first mosque. [Trib]
National news: The Republican National Committee launches a project to examine their 2012 successes and failures in an effort to develop more efficient campaign strategies. [Politico] Two of its members are conservatives who insisted the polls were skewed and Romney would win. [BuzzFeed]
-> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apparently loves the hair on retiring Sen. Ben Nelson's head. [Politico]
-> South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she will not simply appoint a "placeholder" for Sen. Jim DeMint's soon-to-be open seat. [NBCNews]
-> The Washington Post details five ways raising the eligibility age could affect Medicare: [WaPost].
-> Both President Obama and Romney make Mad Magazine's "Dumbest" list. [NYDailyNews]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard
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