Mitt Romney has an empathy problem. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that 49 percent of respondents think that President Obama “better understands the economic problems people in this country are having.” Only 37 percent believe that Mr. Romney does. This echoes a finding from my own research: in a January YouGov poll, 51 percent said they believed that the phrase “cares about people like me” describes President Obama well, while 41 percent said that about Mr. Romney. And in a later poll, the empathy gap widened, with only 33 percent saying they believed that Mr. Romney cared about people like them. Perceptions of empathy are also correlated withwhether people currently favor Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama.
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