Election 2012: Utah Holds Nation's Final Primary
Long-serving Senator Orrin Hatch survives challenge
On Tuesday, Utah held the country's final presidential primary of the 2012 election.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the primary decisively, taking 93.1 percent of the vote. (Full results at the end of this story.)
Romney has strong ties to Utah. He attended Brigham Young University, is a member of the Mormon faith (which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah), and had an important role in Salt Lake City hosting a successful Olympic Winter Games in 2002.
But the Presidential primary wasn't the only race on the ballot. Six-term senator Orrin Hatch faced a primary challenge from Tea Party-backed candidate Dan Liljenquist. After outspending Liljenquist nearly 10-1, Hatch won with 59.2 percent of the vote.
"Today was a great win for me and my campaign, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see our hard work pay off," Hatch said in a statement after the results were announced.
Thanks in part to the Senate race, turnout in Utah was higher than expected. Nearly 37 percent of registered Republican voters cast ballots Tuesday. Four years ago, turnout was 32 percent.
But people in Utah also take their responsibility to vote seriously.
"Our freedom and liberty depends on it," said Jill Spencer of Cottonwood Heights. "We need to be informed on what we're doing, not just coming and checking any old box."
When asked why he came out to vote Norm Olsen from Salt Lake City stated, "Because I'm supposed to vote. Besides, my wife wouldn't let me in the house if I didn't vote."
First time voter Danielle Chard said she wanted to show her support for Romney.
"I really like Romney," Chard said. "I think he's a very good businessman so he'd be good to fix the economy. That would help right now."
Now that the the presidential primaries are finished, Cathryn Baczek of Holladay said the next four months will be very interesting.
"There are two different philosophies, two very different philosophies," Baczek said. "And it will be interesting to see if they both come forward. See how they're going defend they're philosophies. Because they're very different ideas."
Carolyn Green, also a Holladay resident, added, "I think it's going to be close between Romney and Obama."
Utah Primary Results:
Mitt Romney: 93.1 percent
Ron Paul: 4.7 percent
Rick Santorum: 1.5 percent
Newt Gingrich: 0.5 percent
Others: 0.2 percent
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