The Downbeats and a second group that leans overwhelmingly to Romney, the Thriving, make up 51% of those surveyed. The other three categories — the 99 Percenters, the Hard-Pressed and the Upbeats — make up 49% of the total. They lean almost as decisively to Obama…

•For the two Romney-leaning groups, the top issue is the federal deficit and debt.

•For the three Obama-leaning groups, the Hard-Pressed cite the cost of health care, the Upbeats the value of savings and retirement accounts, and the 99 Percenters the concentration of too much wealth in the hands of too few — the cause that propelled the Occupy Wall Street movement.

That helps explain why Romney talks about spending and the deficit at every event. On the campaign trail last week, he used as a backdrop a “debt clock” that tracks the second-by-second increase in the national debt. And it helps explain why Obama doesn’t cite balancing the budget as a priority, instead promising to protect programs that aid students, seniors and others.