Why every presidential candidate is suddenly paying attention to Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Presidential candidates are paying attention to Utah like never before, trying to snag our 77 available delegate votes for Tuesday's caucuses.

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and John Kasich have events planned Friday and Saturday in Utah. (On Thursday, Hillary Clinton had former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan stumping for her.)

There are 37 Democratic and 40 Republican delegate votes at the national party conventions and with a closer than expected race for the White House, candidates are booking face time with Utah voters. They've also flooded TV stations with political ads.

"Utah has become much more interesting to the presidential campaigns," said Bryan Smith, the executive director of the Utah Republican Party.

In previous election cycles, a frontrunner has emerged early and Utah's delegate votes aren't as crucial. Lauren Littlefield, the executive director of the Utah Democratic Party, told FOX 13 that with a race like this one, every delegate matters.

"States like Utah, red states that are usually flyover states, are getting a lot more attention from these presidential candidates," she said. "It makes sense."

Here's the candidates' events:

  • Donald Trump scheduled a last-minute event on Friday in Salt Lake City at the Infinity Event Center at 7pm. RSVP here.
  • Bernie Sanders has scheduled a Friday rally at This is the Place Heritage Park. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. RSVP and more details here.
  • John Kasich has scheduled three events in Utah on Friday, beginning at noon at Utah Valley University (RSVP here), then a 3 p.m. event at the University of Utah (RSVP here) and a 5:30 p.m. event at Davis High School in Kaysville (RSVP here).
  • Ted Cruz is holding a pair of events Saturday. He's joining Utah Sen. Mike Lee's campaign kickoff at the American Preparatory Academy in Draper at 10 a.m. and then a 2 p.m. rally at Provo High School. Cruz will also be joined by Glenn Beck and Carly Fiorina.

 

17 comments

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  • Gary

    Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, explains his son’s mission (his father is a zealot who condemns other faiths; his wife talks to God; and Cruz acts on what God tells his wife…scary stuff!):

    “My son Ted and his family spent six months in prayer seeking God’s will for this decision…At the end of that time, a word came through his wife, Heidi. And the word came, just saying, ‘Seek God’s face, not God’s hand.’ And I’ll tell you, it was as if there was a cloud of the holy spirit filling that place. Some of us were weeping, and Ted just looked up and said, ‘Lord, here am I, use me. I surrender to you, whatever you want.”

    For years, Rafael Cruz has been a freelancing evangelical who has promoted an extremely fundamentalist version of Christianity and decried those, including other Christians, who do not share his religious views. He has called for fundamentalist Christians to gain control of most aspects of American society.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/rafael-cruz-ted-cruz-campaign-god-sign

  • Gary

    America has a HUGE drug problem! 90% of the cocaine here comes through our southern border; 80% of meth and heroin here comes through our southern border!
    America has a HUGE illegal migrant problem! 81% of illegal migrants favor Democrats because they are coming from big government countries and Democrats favor big government. Consequently, as illegal immigration continues, Republican ideals lose! This is why people who want to give more political power to the left want this crime to continue.

    However, the wealthiest exploiters really don’t care much about Dems vs Reps, or that our children have easy access to drugs, but they DO care about cheap labor! THEY are the establishment; THEY fund the media and candidates from BOTH parties; and THEY will do anything to maintain the status quo that is benefiting them so much!

    Please, we NEED to vote for Trump because he is one of the very few candidates in recent history who isn’t another paid-for stooge looking to sell us out (BTW, we would be in better shape today if Ross Perot had won), and he is the only one who will have an absolute mandate to build the wall and secure our border. The establishment has been fiercely trying to derail his campaign for those very reasons!

    • Lucas Kirby

      Or, is it because he promotes racism, hate, bigotry and has not yet made one plan of how he will implement any of his ideas? It’s amazing how people support trump because he’s not a establishment candidate, yet he has so much obvious controversy behind him. You dont’ want an establishment candidate? Why not for someone who was an independent for 30 years; who doesn’t use other races, immigrants (legal or not) as scapegoating to blame them for our problems? Bernie Sanders is the only person who really cares about what’s going on. Give him a shot and look at his campaign. It’s the largest grass roots movement in history. Perhaps people need to un-demonize their ideas of what democratic socialism (not socialism) really ease.

  • Gary

    The problems with illegal migrants is that our emergency rooms are constantly full with them (I am a nurse so I know), the tremendous harm to our children’s education (my wife is a school teacher so she knows), the welfare costs (my nephew is a social worker so he knows), the destruction of middle class jobs (I worked in construction for 20 years so I know this too), the increased gangs/drugs/crime (my cousin was a police chief so he knows), and so many neighborhoods being destroyed (I lived in a poor one and watched it turn into an illegal migrant, gang infested, drug hole over the course of 15 years; and until any of these corrupt politicians living in their gated communities experience something like that, their rhetoric means less than zero to me).

    Despite misleading info and cherry-picked statistics by illegal migrant supporters (exploiters and sympathizers), that’s the reality where the rubber meets the road!

    If the epic fail politicians had listened to their constituents, rather than all of the wealthy exploiters, and done something to stop illegal immigration when it started in earnest back in the 1960s, we wouldn’t have this problem. We would have more legal, middle class immigrants strengthening our working class and contributing to our society instead!

  • Gary

    American media is a democracy-destroying institution of propaganda as it exists today. I recommend searching for and watching the video “The Untruth about Donald Trump” to observe how the media has lied about Trump and fooled so many.

  • Jay

    A vote for Donald is like a vote for Obama 2.0. There is no substance there, only empty promises. Donald can’t solve your immigrant problems, or your drug problems, or our economy because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Fear and anger never win. And since when did President of the United States become an entry level position anyway? Vote smart Utah.

    • ERIC ANDERSON

      The Donald flies around in a jet Bob. What’s your mode of transportation? How’s your resume looking?

  • Techie

    Trump will be an absolute disaster for this country. I do not think he will make it past the democratic nominee though – which is even worse. Look at the polls. He always loses to the democrat.

    Wake up people! What kind of judges do you think Trump will put on the Supreme Court? With his past history of supporting very liberal big government socialist democrats do you really think he is going to put someone like Antonin Scalia on the court. We need a very strong constitutional conservative to replace Antonin Scalia or this country will go down the liberal socialist big government control path and never recover.

    Cruz is the only way this country survives. We need someone who will follow the constitution. Trump thinks he can do it all himself because he is so great. This country is not great because of a president it is great because of the people. But, this country can be destroyed by a bad president like Trump or one of the democrats.

    Please, wake-up people! We need to restore the constitution to its rightful place and put constitutional conservatives on the Supreme Court.

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