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Indeed, a visit to the McCain campaign’s main Albuquerque headquarters showed dozens of volunteers and staffers preparing to descend on the area with a door-knocking effort. In a vast and sparsely populated state such as New Mexico, however, it’s not easy to reach voters in the most remote corners.

Mr. Mack, for example, said he didn’t get his McCain yard signs until Oct. 10. In the meantime, he said, Obama volunteers had blanketed the town with “Obama ‘08” posters and bumper stickers.

Voters in downtown Silver City trend Democratic, while those outside town tend to be more Republican. “The problem is, Obama’s been campaigning here for a year, and it’s tough to compete with that,” Mr. Mack said.

The Obama campaign is also putting out the call to volunteers in neighboring states. Those in Arizona, Mr. McCain’s home state, are being told to come to New Mexico, while those in California, where Mr. Obama is expected to win handily, have been urged to spend their weekends helping the campaign in up-for-grabs Nevada.

“These people from Arizona are coming over from Phoenix because they feel their vote doesn’t count much over there as it does here because we’re a swing state,” said Gayle Simmons, a New Mexican Obama volunteer.

Janet Bunchman of Chandler, Ariz., and Janet Gonzales of Phoenix both said they drove to Mr. Obama’s Silver City office Friday night to help with the weekend door-to-door effort. Their dedication paled in comparison to that of Mia Hanson, who flew in the previous day from Denmark.

Why? “Obama is a really big thing in Europe as well,” said Miss Hanson, a student. “We’ve got to get Obama elected.”