Washington • The race between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama won't be decided by the south Salt Lake Valley's vote, but residents are throwing money at both candidates to help them compete in key battlegrounds.
Republican Romney leads in donations from residents of the South Valley, raising nearly $927,768 so far this election cycle compared to Obama's $112,668, according to the Federal Elections Commission reports on contributions through the end of September.
Statewide, Utahns have contributed about $7.4 million to the Republican presidential nominee, far more than the $1.5 million Obama has raised from the Beehive State. As with the rest of the state, residents of the South Valley communities of Draper, Herriman, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan and West Jordan heavily favor Romney.
Nola Hobbs, a retired homemaker from West Jordan, has donated $470 to Romney's cause with her husband, Charles, a retired author. She said their shared Mormon faith contributed to their interest in the Republican nominee.
"We've supported him all along his way," Hobbs said. "He represents integrity and honesty, and he has the ability to bring about organizations. We've followed him through the years."
But the South Valley area, of course, isn't populated with Republicans alone.
Noelle Converse, a Draper resident who works with special education students, has donated nearly $300 since May. She said she appreciates the president's stances on immigration, personal freedoms and opportunity for all.
"The decision for me starts with people, humanity and faith in our society to support every citizen to the best of our capabilities," Converse says. She says Obama deserves a second term because progress has been made on his agenda despite the difficult situation he walked into four years ago.
Romney has led in every single poll in Utah and dominated the Republican primary in the state, carrying 93 percent of the vote. Most Utahns share Romney's Mormon faith and residents are quite familiar with him because of his work in leading the successful 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The south valley area voted 65 percent for Republican Sen. John McCain in 2008 while giving only 31 percent to Obama.