INDIANAPOLIS - Organizers for Barack Obama's campaign in Indiana predicted Wednesday that voters who gave Hillary Rodham Clinton a victory in the state's Democratic primary will not migrate to Republican John McCain because he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. Deputy Obama National Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand, State Director Emily Parcell and former Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett also told reporters during a teleconference that Indiana's 11 electoral votes were critical to their victory effort and that registering voters would remain a focus of their field efforts until the Oct. 6 deadline. Clinton, with key support from Hogsett, Sen. Evan Bayh and other prominent Indiana Democrats, won a hotly contested presidential primary with 51 percent of the vote over Obama in May. Hogsett dismissed the notion that Palin would erode support for the Democratic ticket among Indiana women. "Hoosier voters will not select the next president of the United States based on the gender makeup" of the ticket, Hogsett said. The Alaska governor accepted the vice presidential nomination Wednesday night at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn. Indiana delegates there were sporting buttons proclaiming themselves "Hoosiers for the Hot Chick." In Indianapolis, meanwhile, dozens of women gathered at a downtown business to watch Palin's acceptance speech. Indiana first lady Cheri Daniels and Susan Brooks, a former U.S. attorney in Indianapolis, were among those who attended. "It's been a long time since we had a woman in this role," said organizer Claudia Cummings, a Republican activist and former national delegate. "It tells me there is great appeal by the McCain-Palin ticket." In the teleconference, Hogsett said Obama had overcome any lingering bitterness from Clinton supporters by reaching out to them. He said internal polling showed Clinton supporters were committed to Obama. "We are a united party not only around the country but here in Indiana as well," Hogsett said. On the Republican convention floor, Art Levine of Fishers, Ind., waved a homemade sign with Palin's name superimposed over a heart. Levine, an alternate delegate who is a member of the Fishers Town Council, said the Alaska governor is the best thing that happened to his party in decades. "I think she epitomizes the new face of the Republican Party, a truly liberated woman," he said. "She is a sports person, she's a mother, she's a politician, she is a college graduate. She has been able to make choices in her life that women didn't used to be able to make." Obama and running mate Joe Biden will campaign in Indiana during the nearly seven weeks remaining before the Nov. 4 general election, Hogsett said. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton also might campaign here for Obama. A Democratic presidential candidate hasn't taken Indiana in the general election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but Hildebrand said the Obama campaign firmly believes it can win the state. It's one of only 18 states where the Obama campaign is running television ads, he said. Parcell said the Obama campaign has opened 31 field offices around Indiana. "We will absolutely continue to invest the resources we need to win here in Indiana," she said. McCain has largely ignored Indiana, but his supporters remain confident he will take the state. Luke Messer, a co-chairman of McCain's Indiana campaign, said recently that Indiana has one of the best-run Republican parties in the nation and a party infrastructure that's been in place for years, while Obama is building his only now. Hogsett said the 1.28 million votes cast in the Democratic primary were 300,000 more than Democratic nominee John Kerry won in 2004 and fell just 25,000 shy of the total won by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels that year. He said a greater number of Hoosiers identified themselves as Democrats than Republicans in 2006, when Indiana Democrats unseated three GOP congressional incumbents and regained control of the state House of Representatives. "Indiana is a ripe opportunity for Senator Obama," Hogsett said. __ Associated Press Writer Jacques Billeaud contributed to this story from St. Paul, Minn.