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News Flash: Artsy Indianapolis Liberals Still Like Obama

Monica Davey pitted "artsy" Indianapolis folks vs. "less cosmopolitan" hicks who don't want to vote for a black.

In Friday's "Minister's Comments Hold Little Sway in Indianapolis Enclave," reporter Monica Davey peered over the wall of the class divide in Indiana by hanging out with "highly educated" and "artsy" Obama supporters who worry that, ahem, "less cosmopolitan" Hoosiers might be reluctant to vote for a black in the state primary Tuesday.


How newsworthy is it that support for Obama in a liberal enclave remains strong?


In the cafes, gift stores and the gourmet dog biscuit shop in this city's neighborhood of Broad Ripple Village, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s name draws all sorts of responses - sighs, rolling eyes, laughter, grim silence.


But many people, like Clyde H. Crockett, a retired law professor who was sipping a drink in a coffee shop here on Thursday, said his thoughts about Mr. Wright would have no bearing on his decision - still unfinished - about whom to vote for in Indiana's Democratic primary on Tuesday.


"Why should it?" Mr. Crockett said. "No one should be tainted because of Reverend Wright."


The shoppers in Broad Ripple and in the neighborhoods nearby reflect a demographic group - mostly white, highly educated, professional, artsy, relatively well-off, politically independent - that has leaned toward Senator Barack Obama in other states and one that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will hope to gain an edge with here, in a state that polls show as almost evenly split.


But in interviews here on Thursday, voters said Mr. Wright's highly publicized comments and the responses and echoes that have followed had had little bearing on them.


Supporters of both Democratic candidates said that they did not think the Wright episode should change the race but said, again and again, that they feared it might in other, less cosmopolitan areas of Indiana where they thought people might be searching for some acceptable explanation for not voting for a black candidate.