(Cape Girardeau, MO) -- While Hillary Clinton concentrates on West Virginia, a state she's expected to win, Barack Obama is turning his attention to swing states that will play a critical role in November's general election.
Today, he set his sites on a Missouri town filled with working class voters.
Senator Barack Obama had some morning housecleaning to do before hitting the campaign trail again. He returned for some Senate business in Washington, but not for long.
By afternoon, he was on to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, virtually ignoring the democratic primary going on in West Virginia.
Obama made only one stop in West Virginia and is expected to lose to rival Hillary Clinton by a wide margin. His campaign believes he can afford to do so, with a big enough lead in the delegate count and more super delegates joining his camp each day.
So why come to Cape Girardeau? It's a Republican stronghold … birthplace of Rush Limbaugh. Pundits say it's a sign the frontrunner is already focusing on the general election and bellwether states like Missouri.
Obama is meeting with factory workers here for an invitation-only, town hall meeting. Most residents, like Jodi Pfefferkorn, won't be there, but she wants to know what Obama will do for recent graduates like herself.
"I'm looking for a job, and nobody's beating on my door for a job, so yes, I am concerned about the economy," says Pfefferkorn.
Other Missouri voters, like Victor Heise, want more specifics on the issues from the candidates. "I have to listen for that one person that sounds like me. That can echo how I feel. That has my pulse.:
If Obama becomes the democratic nominee, expect to see him in more battleground states and to hold more town hall meetings ..as he tries to measure the pulse of votes who may swing his way.
(Teri Okita, CBS News - still image from CBS video)