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  • FILE - In this April 18, 2012 photo, President Barack Obama speaks at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. The improving economy is swinging the pendulum in Obama's favor in the 14 states where the presidential election will likely be decided. Polls have shown 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 Midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)FILE – In this April 18, 2012 photo, …

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 have shown 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 Midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan.

And Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where unemployment remains high, 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, assistant director of the Quinnipiac…

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