WASHINGTON — The improving economy is swinging the pendulum in President Barack Obama's favor in the 14 states where the presidential election will likely be decided.
Recent polls show Obama gaining an edge over his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in several so-called swing states — those that are considered up for grabs.
What's made the difference is that unemployment has dropped more sharply in several swing states than in the nation as a whole. A resurgence in manufacturing is helping the economy — and Obama's chances — in the industrial states of Ohio and Michigan.
And Arizona, Nevada and Florida are getting some relief from an uptick in tourism.
"The biggest reason for the president's improving prospects probably is the economy," says Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.