President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are locked in a competitive race in battleground states Michigan, North Carolina and New Hampshire, according to three NBC-Marist polls released on Thursday.

The polls show Obama ahead by four percentage points in Michigan, where he leads Romney 47 to 43 percent, and holding a two-point lead in North Carolina, with 46 percent to Romney's 44 percent. The candidates are tied at 45 percent each in New Hampshire, which borders Romney's home state of Massachusetts.

In Michigan and North Carolina, Romney's "favorability rating is upside-down," according to the polls. In both states, the voters who have an unfavorable impression of him outnumber those who see him as favorable, perhaps further evidence that the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney's private equity career are bearing fruit.

The results come after a number of polls showing the president's lead expanding in swing states. A Qunnipiac Poll released on Wednesday had Obama ahead of his opponent by a 9-point margin on Ohio, which is considered a must-win state on the path to the presidency.

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