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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:44 GMT
Utah

Utah is best known for the Mormons, who arrived in Utah in 1847 after fleeing persecutors in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois.

Key facts
Population: 2,099,758 (ranked 35 among states)
Governor: Michael O. Leavitt (R)
Electoral College votes: 5
Led by church president Brigham Young, the Mormons built the state from scratch and the Church of Latter Day Saints has an enormous influence over everyday life. It owns one of the leading Salt Lake City newspapers, a television station, a department store and has holdings in several banks and an insurance company.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 3 Republicans
Senate: 2 Republicans
The church also sets the political tone of the state. Utah is conservative on many social issues, becoming for instance, the first state to ban cigarette vending machines. It also has one of the toughest abortion laws in the US, banning it in all cases except rape and incest.

Voting record
1996: Dole 54%, Clinton 33%
1992: Bush 43%, Perot 27%, Clinton 25%
1988: Bush 66%, Dukakis 32%
But while Utah morality has not changed much in decades, its politics have. Fifty years ago it was an impoverished state that saw itself as a victim of East Coast prejudice. This made it staunchly Democrat.

But business innovation, intense productivity and one of the youngest populations in the USA have drastically changed Utah's political complexion. Fast rising incomes and high-tech industries have solidified a Republican stance evident since the 1960s.

As national morality is seen as weakened, Utah's traditional values have made it the most Republican states in the nation.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


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