WASHINGTON — Just which 47 percent of Americans was Mitt Romney was talking about? It's hard to say. He lumped together three different ways of sorting people in what he's called less-than-elegant remarks.
Each of those three groups - likely Obama voters, people who get federal benefits and people who don't pay federal income taxes - contains just under half of all Americans, in the neighborhood of 47 percent at a given moment. There's some overlap, but the three groups are quite distinct.
Confusingly, Romney spoke as if they're made up of the same batch of Americans.