Local politicians say it will take more than a well-decorated storefront for Obama, the Illinois senator, to make headway. "He's going to have to visit," says Bob Pasley, who adds that Obama should come prepared to answer "tough questions," including some about his religion.

"Is he Islamic or is he not?" Pasley says of Obama, who is Christian. "I know he's tried to talk about it but he hasn't looked anybody in Wayne in the eye and told them."