Unemployment rates fell last month in seven of the nine U.S. battleground states that will likely decide the presidential election. In the two other such states, the unemployment rates didn't change.
The overall decline might benefit President Barack Obama, particularly in Virginia, New Hampshire and Iowa, whose unemployment rates have remained well below the national average for the past 12 months.
Nevada suffers from the nation's highest rate. But it's also benefited from the sharpest drop over the past year. That downward trend could explain why Obama holds a small lead in Nevada polls.
In most states whose rate exceeds the national average — Colorado, Florida and North Carolina — GOP nominee Mitt Romney has an edge in polls.
Below is the change in the unemployment rate over the past year for each battleground state and for the nation as a whole:
|Sept. 2011||Sept. 2012||Change|
|Colorado||8.2 percent||8 percent||-0.2|