For some, the recently surfaced political polls for the Utah Senate race were a surprise. The open Senate seat is currently held by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is set to retire this year.

At the recent Utah Republican Party convention held in West Valley City, party delegates cast their votes for the candidates running to fill the Senate seat. On the ballot are Mitt Romney and Mike Kennedy, a state lawmaker.

What was surprising to some of the results was that Romney placed second in the election held during the convention, scoring 49.12 percent of the vote while Kennedy took 50.18 percent.

From the outside of this race, Romney is clearly the favored to win, due to his previous political experience, support base in the state of Utah as well as his track record of assisting the state of Utah – particularly during the 2002 Winter Olympics which were held in Salt Lake City. Not to mention his success as the former governor of Massachusetts.

Responding to the election results, Romney commented: “I’m delighted with the outcome. Did very, very well. On to a good, important primary ahead. This is terrific for the people of Utah.”

Not surprising, however, was Kennedy upon learned he had a very narrow margin above the previous Republican nominee for President. Commenting on the results, Kennedy added: “I’m a candidate with a compelling life story and a unique set of life circumstances I’d like to use to serve the people of Utah.”

Setback aside, the political race has shown that Romney is capable of focusing on the issue at hand without touting any previous political experience as a tool for swaying undecided voters. Instead, Romney has chosen to stick to current and pressing state issues that plague Utah. And it seems to be working.

The senate race will continue up until the GOP primary election on June 26.


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