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"I just haven’t felt that it was as big of an issue this time around," Ott says, adding that he’s still a "big-time" Romney fan. "I felt confident that he’d be OK without it."
Ott did pony up that $100 when he felt Romney was "really getting piled on" and says he may still donate heavily toward his candidate’s fall campaign.
Romney’s Utah haul
Nationally, Romney’s campaign has raised more money for this bid — if his personal contributions from 2008 aren’t counted. And, as of his latest campaign report, Romney reported $7.2 million in the bank, and he has yet to take in any general election funds.
Sanderson, the campaign finance attorney, says he expects Utah money to start adding up as Republicans gear up to take on President Barack Obama.
Utahns might have donated to Romney last time because it was more of an "uphill slog" and the candidate was having a difficult time competing with his GOP rivals, he explains. This time, Romney has been the odds-on favorite from the start.
"It’s just kind of a death watch for [Rick] Santorum and [Newt] Gingrich," Sanderson says. "The donations [for Romney] will kick up in the general [election]."
email@example.com Tony Semerad contributed to this story.
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