Voters Split Over Obama's Pastor Problem

Some in Pa., Ind. hold cleric's words against candidate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 2:12 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., reaches to shake hands at Murads' Sports Bar in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, March 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – How is the Jeremiah Wright controversy playing with voters in Pennsylvania and Indiana? The reaction isn't unanimous, but the Boston Globe finds many who say the inflammatory sound bites swayed them toward Hillary Clinton. “Twenty years he put up with that?” said one 82-year old Indiana woman said of Barack Obama. “He was softening me up. He was kind of even with Hillary.”

For others, the remarks weren’t a big deal. “I think the pastor just overreacted,” said one voter. “I don’t use that against" Obama. And others say Obama’s ensuing speech on race was a defining moment. “He showed character,” said a 58-year-old black woman from Indiana. “America needs to take its blinders off. The country is still prejudiced.”