Voters in the area have supported Democrats at the top of the ticket, including John Kerry and Al Gore in the past two presidential races. But they also frequently elect Republicans to serve in the state Legislature and in local offices.
They are the coveted independents. Obama will make his pitch to them at a stop Wednesday in downtown La Crosse.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political science professor Joe Heim says western Wisconsin is a toss-up area within a toss-up state.
Both Obama and McCain's campaigns say they need to do well there to win Wisconsin.