Utah 3rd District
Part of the heartland of the Mormon Church in America is in a geographically isolated valley between 11,000-foot peaks of the Wasatch Range and the shores of Utah Lake. It is Provo, the home of Brigham Young University, an institution long known for the conservative views of its faculty, the old-fashioned moral standards it encourages and its welcoming of technological innovation. The Mormon commonwealth, after all, started off with a huge shortage of both labor and water, and its inhabitants were eager to use technology to compensate and prosper in this fearsome terrain. Provo produced Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television, and Harvey Fletcher, inventor of the hearing aid. It has become one of America’s high-tech centers, the home of Novell and hundreds of other computer-related firms. Overseas missionary work has bequeathed the area with unusual resources in foreign languages.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 3rd Congressional District of Utah includes all or part of seven counties in central and western Utah. Many of them are remote. During World War II, Japanese-Americans were interned near Topaz in Millard County. The vast majority of its people live in Utah or Salt Lake counties. The 3rd includes the west side of Salt Lake City and the suburbs south of the city, including West Valley City (the state’s second-largest city, home to many recent Mormon converts from Polynesia), West Jordan, South Jordan and Riverton. Kennecott, the old mining conglomerate that owns 90,000 acres in Salt Lake and Tooele counties, unloaded some of its landholdings to real estate developers, who have built many subdivisions and the unique Sunrise, a “walkable” community of 30,000 in South Jordan. The district includes almost all of Utah County, with Provo and the string of counties between high-jutting mountains and Utah Lake. Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs were created in the early 1990s and have grown rapidly. From 2000 to 2008, the youthful Provo was the third fastest-growing metro area in the nation. Politically, Utah County is heavily Republican; a 2005 study by the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research rated Provo as the most conservative city in the United States. Republican President George W. Bush carried the district with 77% in 2004. Republican presidential nominee John McCain won the district with 67% of the vote in 2008.