GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney still dominates the money race in Utah.
Romney has more than 83 percent of all contributions made by Utahns, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission totals for Republican and Democratic candidates that includes the latest three-month reporting period that ended Sept. 30.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., came in a distant second to Romney, with just over 4 percent of the state's $5.5 million in contributions $227,500 to Romney's more than $4.6 million.
Behind Obama was the Republican front-runner in the 2008 race for the White House, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with $181,400 in contributions from Utah, or more than 3.25 percent of the total donations.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has the support of several prominent Utah public officials, including Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., trails with more than $137,500 from Utahns, less than 2.5 percent of the total.
Another Democrat, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, is the only other candidate to collect more than $100,000 from Utahns. Clinton has raised just over $103,000 here, less than 2 percent of all Utah contributions to presidential campaigns.
The actual amount of contributions to Romney's campaign is higher than the $4.6 million declared in the FEC report, according to his campaign, because of an unusually large number of donations of less than $200 each that were made last quarter.
Donations that small don't need to be itemized on the FEC report unless they add up to more than $200 from an individual during a campaign cycle. And unless a donation is itemized, there is no state associated with it.
While the FEC shows $822,000 went to Romney in the third quarter, his campaign said the actual amount was closer to $1.2 million, thanks to a Sept. 28 fund-raiser at the Salt Palace Convention Center aimed at collecting small donations.
More than $400,000 was believed to have been raised at the six-hour "Rally for Romney," the last and the biggest of about 50 similar events nationwide. Hundreds of Utahns collected thousands of small donations that didn't show up in FEC documents as coming from the state.
"The turnout in Utah for the 'Rally for Romney' event helped us raise a large number of low-dollar donations that are not itemized," Romney campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said.
As for Romney's high percentage of Utah's total donations to 2008 presidential candidates, Gitcho said, "Governor Romney continues to maintain growing support in Western states, but especially in Utah."
Romney, who led the successful 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and, like the majority of Utahns, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has stayed in the lead in statewide polling.A recent poll for the Deseret Morning News showed that nearly two-thirds of Utahns who planned to vote in the state's GOP primary would cast their ballot for Romney. Of the minority who said they'd vote in the Democratic primary, Obama was the favorite.
E-mail: [email protected]