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Obama Supporters Optimistic Despite Loss In Indiana

This story was written by Kristi Oloffson, Indiana Daily Student

On a day when many Democrats thought they saw an end in sight, the race churns on after Sen. Hillary Clinton's victory in the Indiana Democratic primary.

As of midnight, the race was still too close to call between Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. Bloomintons Obama campaign volunteers and supporters began to retreat from Opie Taylors restaurant. After spending the day at their local campaign headquarters, Obama supporters held a watch party at the restaurant. They spent the evening watching results pour in.

By late Tuesday night, 92 percent of Indiana precincts were reporting, with Clinton leading 51 percent to Obamas 49 percent. Most local Obama supporters were optimistic leading up to Clinton''s victory in Indiana, as Obamas win in North Carolina carried more weight.

Though Obama will likely retain his lead with his win in North Carolina and a sizeable number of delegates in Indiana, the win still gives Clinton the momentum necessary to continue. Indiana has 72 delegates up for grabs, in addition to 13 superdelgates.

Around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Obama gave a speech in North Carolina accepting his win by 14 percent. He also conceded defeat early to Clinton, congratulating her on her victory, despite the fact that most TV networks had not given her the victory. He then gave a message while Bloomingtons supporters looked on at the TV in admiration with beeming smiles, excited about his victory in North Carolina. Supporters clapped and cheered, many chanting Yes we can repeatedly along with supporters on TV.

Obama described the race between he and the former first lady as one of the longest, most formidable contests in American history. He spoke about some of the same themes he emphasized at a speech in Bloomington last week, including hard work and equal opportunity for all.

They are not liberal values, they are not conservative values, they are American values, Obama said. I love this country too much to see it divided and distracted at this critical moment in history. I know the promise of America because I have lived it.

For IU senior and Obama volunteer Rose Byrne, the speech particularly hit home for her, as she watched smiling and crying at the same time. Friday afternoon Byrne found out one of her good friends from high school was killed while serving in Iraq. Her sister is also in the Army.

None of us wanna see her in Iraq, Byne said. (My friend) gave his life. Its time to question why were there.

By the time Sen. Hillary Clinton began her speech in Indianapolis around 10:30 p.m., most of Obamas local supporters had cleared out of Opie Taylors, a few yelling Its not over, at the many TVs in the restaurant on their way out.

Paul Case, a Bloomington resident and local volunteer for the Obama campaign said the Illinois senator is more ahead than he was, but the race for the Democratic nomination will continue to crawl on.

He doesnt have it sewn up yet but hes made it a couple steps closer, he said.