Barack Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is coming to Utah on Saturday.

The Illinois senator will campaign here in advance of so-called "Super-Duper Tuesday" on Feb. 5, when voters in Utah and more than 20 other states, including California and New York, go to the polls to help choose the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

While his campaign on Sunday confirmed Obama's visit to Utah, a spokeswoman said no details were available yet. Obama is expected to hold a rally in Salt Lake that will be open to the public at no charge during what will likely be a brief stop on a western campaign swing.

"Right on. I'm excited," said Nikki Norton of Utah for Obama. "The purpose is to get people who are maybe undecided to hear him firsthand and shake his hand, and see he is who he says he is. He has a lot of integrity."

Norton said seeing Obama in person will win over wavering voters.

"It's a 'you have to see it to believe it' kind of thing. A lot of people are cynical about politics, especially Democrats in Utah," she said.

This will be Obama's second trip to Utah during the 2008 presidential race. Last August, he attracted hundreds of supporters to a hastily organized rally held on his way to a Park City fundraiser where he reportedly raised $250,000. Obama has two campaign offices in Utah — in Salt Lake and St. George.

Obama's campaign has scheduled a noon press conference for today at the Capitol to announce local endorsements.

His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, also has a Salt Lake office but has not campaigned in Utah. Last November, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, raised some $350,000 for her campaign at a Park City fundraiser and by speaking at the University of Utah.

On Tuesday, the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea, will be in Utah to campaign for her mother. Events are scheduled at the U. and Weber State University and tentatively at a Salt Lake senior center and a downtown private club.

A Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll conducted earlier this month found nearly half of those surveyed who planned to vote in Utah's Democratic primary favored Clinton. She was the choice of 46 percent of respondents compared to 23 percent for Obama. The Dan Jones & Associates poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.


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