Pony up

When it comes to fund raising, Mitt Romney is the West's presidential candidate


If any one religion is Western, it's Mormonism - there are more members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the West than in any other part of the nation. That helps explain why Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney, the only Mormon presidential candidate, has raised more money in the West than any other candidate.

The West could be one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the 2008 election, and the region has provided some surprises in the early fund-raising game (View detailed map of fundraising in the West 104kb .pdf). Romney's overwhelming success has battered one-time front-runner John McCain, a Westerner. Even Rudolf Giuliani, a New Yorker, is right on McCain's heels in the Western money race. Hillary Clinton leads all her rivals in national fund raising, but Barack Obama leads the Democrats in the West, thanks mostly to success in California, Colorado and Washington.

New Mexico's Democratic Governor Bill Richardson raked in the dough in his home state and has done well in the Southwest, but still trails far behind his rivals nationally. Coloradan Tom Tancredo and Californian Duncan Hunter, meanwhile, lag far behind in dollars raised, even in their home states.

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