Obama says Democratic voters 'passionate'
Feb 06,2008 00:00 by UPI

CHICAGO - U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Wednesday he doesn't think an intra-party nomination fight until the convention would hurt in November.

"I think it would be a problem if Senator Clinton's voters disliked me" or vice versa, the U.S. senator from Illinois said during a news conference in Chicago. "I don't think that's the case. Our voters are passionate for bringing about change."

He noted reports indicated 10 million ballots were cast by Democrats compared with a reported 6 million by Republicans.

Obama, who won the majority of Democratic primaries and caucuses conducted Tuesday, said the party's presidential nominee would work to consolidate the democratic base after the convention in Denver in August.

"And if I'm the nominee," he said, "(I will) bring independents and Republicans into that base."

When asked whether he was tough enough to weather a bruising campaign if tapped as the party's standard-bearer, Obama said the race so far has proven "we can take a punch."

"The Clinton research operation is about as good as anybody's out there," he said, adding, "no one will be immune" to charges, claims and attacks as the general election draws near.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.