The race for president may boil down to which candidate is viewed as the bigger snob.

President Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, have begun to circle each other over the charge of elitism, which both see as a threat.

The economy has shown signs of strengthening, but with the national unemployment rate at 8.3 percent and gas approaching $4 a gallon, winning over voters might hinge on showing empathy for their financial difficulties, say Democratic and Republican strategists.