Salt Lake City -- The 2008 presidential race hasn't even officially begun, but a new poll shows Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the favored candidate among Utah voters.
About 44 percent of Utahns surveyed said they would vote for Romney if a presidential race were held now, the Deseret Morning News said in a copyright story Sunday.
Sen. John McCain R-Arizona was second at 15 percent, according to the poll of 416 registered voters conducted for the newspaper Nov. 14-16 by Dan Jones & Associates. The poll has an error margin of 5 percentage points.
Romney was also first among Utah Republican voters at 60 percent and drew 33 percent of support from independent voters, the poll found.
McCain drew support from only 14 percent of Utah Republicans, but 21 percent of independents.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, also a Republican, has said he'll support McCain if the senator makes a run for the presidency.
Utah's U.S. Sens. Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch, both Republicans, have said they like Romney.
Predictably, Romney, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is supported by 55 percent of Mormon voters. McCain drew 14 percent support from Mormons, according to the poll.
Democratic presidential hopefuls barely registered in the poll. Utah last supported a Democratic candidate for president in 1984.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., drew just 7 percent of voter support, followed by Sen. Barak Obama, D-Ill., with 5 percent.
As of June, Romney's various political action committees had raised $1.6 million. About 45 percent of that -- or $732,500 -- was from Utahns. Included in that is $128,500 from Jon Huntsman Sr., the Utah governor's father.