Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 10, 2015 12:00 PM

State of the Nation

An average of four surveys taken from July 26 through August 26 found that 64% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, while 28% think the country is on the right track.

The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2015 is 5.1 %, showing a “0.2” drop from the previous month. The rate is down one full point from a year ago. If one takes into account the total unemployed + those marginally attached to the labor force + those working part-time who want full- time work, the rate is 10.3 %. 2.2% have been unemployed for 15 weeks or longer, down from 2.1% in July, and down from 2.9% a year earlier. [Based on those 16 years of age and older.]

In the first week of September (9/4) Gallup found an unemployment rate of 6.1%, down from 6.5% at the same time in 2014. It also found an under- employment rate (unemployed +those working part-time, but wanting full time) of 14.1%, down from 15.3% in September 2014. [Based on those 18 years of age and older.]

In August 2015, 41% of Americans identified themselves as politically independent. This was a 5 point drop since early July. The number of Democrats is 30% and the number of Republicans is 27%. If leaning independents are included in this calculation, then there are 43% Republicans & leaners, and 45% Democrats & leaners, leaving 10% “pure” independents.

As of this date in 2011, Americans identified themselves politically as 30% Democrat, 25% Republican, and 44% Independent. [Gallup 8/9/15]

24% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of both major political Parties. In the last 15 years the number of people having an unfavorable opinion of both Parties has grown from 7% to the current number. [Pew 8/2015]

76% of all Americans, 79% of registered voters, 78% of registered Democrats, and 84% of registered Republicans are enthusiastic about voting in next year’s election. [CC/ORC 8/2015]

60% of Americans now support same-sex marriage. In mid-2005 that number was 37% and those opposed was 57%. [Gallup 5/2015]

72% say there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country. 27% say they should not be allowed to stay. Supporting the 72% position are 80% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans. [Pew 6/2015]

47% now generally approve of the Affordable Care Act. [Gallup 7/2015]

Americans think that Democrats are better able to handle immigration (D+2), the economy (D+3), foreign policy (D+3), healthcare (D+10), education (D+12), abortion and contraception (D+19), and the environment (D+26).

Republicans are seen as better able to handle gun control (R+12), terrorist threat (R+10), budget deficit (R+4), taxes (R+1). [Pew 7/2015]

Among women with children, only 18% support the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.

When asked the question, “Do you favor or oppose the recent deal negotiated with Iran over its nuclear program?”:

About a third of Americans support the proposed nuclear agreement.

Favor Oppose
31% 31%

Men oppose the deal by 50%

Favor Oppose
38% 50%

While the number of women who oppose the deal is 48%, the number of women who support it is only half that number.

Favor Oppose
25% 48%

[Winston Group]

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