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In the process, he said, that will help other Democratic candidates all across the county.
Democratic state Sen. Ben McAdams, who is also seeking the mayor’s seat, is taking a different approach. He said that with Romney on the ballot, Democrats will need a candidate "who has a track record of attracting crossover support."
But McAdams pointed to the 2004 election, when President George W. Bush won Salt Lake County and Democrat Peter Corroon won the county mayor’s seat.
"I do expect a spike in turnout and I do suspect there will be Democrats who vote for Romney," McAdams said. "But Salt Lake County voters, in particular, have an independent streak, and I trust their ability to look at the candidate and make the best decision."
Wright contends the enthusiasm Romney generates will inevitably help Republicans. "It’s going to be one of the largest, if not the largest, turnouts ever," he predicted.
In swing legislative districts that Republicans lost by a thousand votes in the past, a couple of thousand new Romney supporters certainly could turn the tide.
Wright believes Democrats in Utah will be dispirited.
"People are going to turn out to send a message to Washington, D.C.," he said. "And the Democrats on the ticket are going to pay the price for that."
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