“Race is an issue, and a whole lot of white Americans don’t admit to that,” Ms. Fitzgerald said.
Some voters worry about the Obama stance on guns, one reason the Columbia office offers guidance on the Second Amendment.
The “guns” flier on display for voters to peruse is headlined with an Obama quote: “I believe the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms.”
It notes he was endorsed by the American Hunters and Shooters Association and that he will “support the rights and traditions of sportsmen.”
“Obama’s words and his actions are clear. He will protect your gun rights, he supports the individual right to bear arms, and he will stand against the confiscation of legally acquired firearms,” the flier concludes.
Several voters who had been leaning toward Mr. Obama said they have been enchanted by Mrs. Palin.
“If anything, Palin is the rock star,” said Cameron Dorr, a 29-year-old massage therapist from Columbia. “I’m sure there are a lot of people today thinking she should be the lead on the ticket.”
Mr. Dorr said he will “probably” vote for Mr. Obama because Mr. Bush “was such a mistake,” but added, “It’s not done yet.”
But some die-hard Republicans were looking at the Democratic ticket for its vice president. Several voters said they like Mr. Biden, who is to campaign in Columbia and St. Louis on Tuesday.
The Obama camp sent out surrogates to highlight the “Bush-McCain” economic plan in advance of the Republican visit to the western part of the state Monday. They also have made a big “Republicans for Obama” push with former Republican Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa leading the group.