WEST VALLEY CITY — Democrat Jenny Wilson has a lot of ground to make up in the U.S. Senate race against Republican Mitt Romney with just two months to go until Election Day and early voting starting in mid-October.
Wilson called a UtahPolicy.com poll released Thursday showing her trailing 55 percent to 29 percent "incredibly good news" because it has Romney "falling" and her "surging" compared to previous surveys. She said her campaign is calling voters every night and knocking on doors on Saturdays.
"What we probably need is a little more time. We're going to make up for that by taking our 18-hour days and maybe making them 19- or 20-hour days," she said.
A Utah Debate Commission poll that came out Wednesday has Romney with whopping 40-point lead over Wilson, 58-18.
Wilson held a news conference Thursday at a park next to the Jordan River Parkway Trail to tout her bipartisan work on Wasatch Front recreation areas, something she said Utah's all-GOP congressional delegation has neglected. She and Sandy City Councilman Chris McCandless created the Jordan River Commission to enhance and protect the river corridor.
McCandless, a Republican, said he has stood and continues to stand with Wilson on numerous issues.
"It's not about whose party we all belong to. It's about the American party and how we need to work together," he said, adding he has a Wilson sign in his yard and would do whatever he could to get her elected.
Wilson said she's frustrated with the federal government's unwillingness to address local recreational needs, including more funding for Utah's five national parks. She said the country needs a new generation of leaders to bring about change, including having a Democrat represent Utah.
"The federal government needs to step up. Our six-member delegation needs to put this at the front of their agenda, get something done. If we have balance in our delegation, we're going to make that change," she said.
The "pingpong challenge" over the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments is a failure of the state's Republican congressional delegation, Wilson said.
Wilson opposes President Donald Trump's order reducing the size of those monuments.
"I think it's in the best interest of Utah to maintain the pre-existing boundaries prior to Trump's election," she said.
Romney applauded Trump shrinking the two monuments and has said he would work to prevent "excessive" land grabs by presidents and federal bureaucrats. He also favors a rewrite of the Antiquities Act — the federal law that grants presidential authority to designate national monuments — to require state approval.