1 of 2
Jacquelyn Martin, File, Associated Press
In this April 28, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about recent unrest in Baltimore during his joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. In a presidential campaign where candidates are jockeying to be champions of the middle class and courting donations from the wealthy, the poor are inching their way into the debate. Tensions in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere have sparked examinations of the relationship between poor communities and the police, as well as the systemic problems that have trapped many of the 45 million Americans living in poverty. But addressing the economic, education, and security issues that have plagued underprivileged neighborhoods for decades remains a politically elusive challenge.

WASHINGTON — In a presidential campaign where candidates are jockeying to be champions of the middle class and asking wealthy people for money, the problems facing the poor are inching into the debate.

Candidates have seized on the tensions in places such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, to explore the complicated relationship between poor communities and the police — as well as the deep-seated problems that have trapped many of the 45 million people who live in poverty in the United States.

But addressing the long-running economic, education and security troubles in underprivileged neighborhoods is a challenge with few easily agreed upon solutions.

According to the census, about 27 percent of blacks and 25 percent of Hispanics were poor in 2012, compared with 12.7 percent of whites.