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Richard Piatt ReportingMitt Romney's campaign staff is using tonight's Republican candidate debate in South Carolina as another opportunity to drum up support. It's happening around the country, including here in Utah.
Starting tonight, the Romney campaign is starting "Sign Up America." The goal is to gather 24,000 new Romney supporters in 24 hours nationwide. He's also creating 50 Romney call centers that will be manned during the debate. One of them will be at the South Towne Expo Center. There are three total in Utah.
In Columbia, South Carolina, they're making final preparations so the 10 candidates can take the stage tonight. Outside, television satellite trucks are crowding parking lots, and reporters and visitors are crowding into town.
Once again, Iraq and abortion are expected to be hot topics as the candidates debate a second time. Romney's campaign is hoping to capitalize on his skill at managing this question and answer format.
John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Romney are considered the top-tier candidates in this event.
There are more than 800 Romney debate watching parties going on across the nation; 50 here in Utah.
At this point, Romney is highly favored here in Utah, but not so in most of the nation, where he is relatively unknown.