[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/31/last.weekend/art.obamageneric.gi.jpg]Michael Finnegan
Los Angeles Times
Some white union members in the suburbs northwest of St. Louis are blunt about their racism when Gary Booth knocks on their doors.
"I am not voting for a black man," they tell Booth, who leads organized labor's Democratic campaign effort in nearly all-white St. Charles County.
Others are indirect but make clear that their unease with Barack Obama's race will influence their vote on Tuesday. "It's a difficult thing to try to break down those barriers," Booth said.
Whether Obama or Republican rival John McCain carries Missouri depends in no small part on the nearly 250,000 voters of St. Charles County, a fast-growing working-class area. It would be tough for any Democrat to win in this culturally conservative county, where many voters oppose abortion rights and gay marriage. However, the troubled economy and Obama's huge campaign operation have put the entire state in play.
The nominee is making two trips to Missouri in the campaign's final week. He has 44 offices in the state, which President Bush won handily in 2004, compared with McCain's 16. As for unpaid volunteers in Missouri, Obama has thousands.
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