If affection can be measured by gifts, Utahns love Mitt Romney 13 times more than does the typical American.
New financial disclosure forms show Utahns gave a whopping $5.2 million total to Romney's presidential campaign through the end of 2007, including $619,471 in the last quarter.
That averages to $1.97 for Romney from every man, woman and child in Utah.
No other place comes close to that. In a distant second was Washington, D.C., at 77 cents per resident for Romney.
Ironically, Romney has been bad-mouthing Washington, saying the nation needs to replace politicians entrenched there. Most of the D.C. money likely came from lobbyists and special interests that use Washington as their home address.
Nationally, Romney raised an average of 15 cents per person from all Americans in donations. That is one-thirteenth of what he raised from Utahns.
Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, said about Romney's fund raising in Utah, "The $5.2 million is a jaw-dropping number ... Mitt's support here is so broad and so deep, very impressive."
He said Romney's Utah performance may bring future financial boosts to the local Republican Party and its candidates.
"So many (Utahns) gave such significant amounts" to Romney, "and once someone has given to a political candidate or cause, they are very likely to give again," studies show, Jowers said.
"His Utah donors list will be a very popular list" for Utah Republicans, Jowers said. "Mitt will have released a wave of engaged Utah citizenry."
Romney raised more money here that he did in Massachusetts, where he was governor just two years ago. Massachusetts was third on the list and gave him 62 cents per person. Michigan, where Romney was born, was No. 11 on the list, with just under 21 cents per person. Utah is his third home, where he oversaw the 2002 Olympics.
Utahns gave Romney so much money that it was actually more than some failed presidential candidates managed to raise during in their entire campaigns this cycle.
The $5.2 million Utahns gave Romney was more than the $4.2 million total raised nationally by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; the $3.9 million raised by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; and the $2.5 million raised by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., for example.
It was nearly six times more than former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has raised in Arkansas ($885,326).
It was nearly twice as much as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised in his home state of Arizona ($2.75 million).
Utah was second in total money raised for Romney behind only California which has a population that is almost 14 times larger and gave Romney $7.8 million. California was No. 9 in per-person spending for Romney at 21 cents per person.32 comments on this story
Of course, both California and Utah were far behind what Romney's own pocketbook gave to his campaign. The multimillionaire donated $35.4 million to his own campaign through the end of the year, including $18 million in the last quarter.
A few other presidential candidates raised some significant donations in Utah but nothing like Romney did.
New disclosure forms show that Hillary Clinton raised $350,925 in Utah through the end of the year; Barack Obama raised $258,606; Rudy Giuliani, $189,200; McCain, 156,542; Ron Paul, $138,793; and others earned less.That means Romney took 79 percent of the money Utahns gave to all presidential candidates, with 5 percent going to Clinton, 4 percent to Obama, 3 percent to Giuliani and .2 percent each to McCain and Paul.