Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

April 23, 2016 11:59 AM

State of the Nation

70% of respondents say that the country is on the wrong track. 24% say the country is headed in the right direction. [NBC/WSJ 4/10-14]

First, let’s take a look at the “official” official unemployment numbers.

The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2016 is 5%, the same as November 2015.

However, 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 current rate is 9.8%. [BLS data is based on those 16 years of age and older.]

In the first week of April, Gallup found an unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.6%. It also found an under-employment rate (unemployed +those working part- time but wanting full time) of 14.1%. [This is based on those 18 years of age and older.

The Pew Research Center has published a series of reports about the United States today.


% of U.S. aggregate household income held by

  1970 2014
Upper income households 29% 49%
Middle income households 62% 43%
Lower income households 10% 9%


Which social classes do the Republican and Democratic parties favor?

  GOP Party Dem Party
Poor 2% 31%
Middle class 26% 32%
Rich 62% 26%


There have been substantial changes in the diversity of potential American voters from 2000 to that projected in 2016.

  2000 2016
Asian 2% 4%
Hispanic 7% 12%
Black 12% 12%
White 78% 69%


The number of two-parent households is in decline.

  1960 2000 2014
Two parents 87% 73% 69%
One parent 9% 22% 26%
No parents 4% 5% 5%

Compared to 50 years ago, life for people like you in America is

  Worse Better Same
All voters 46% 34% 14%
Rep/Lean Rep 66% 19% 10%
Fem/Lean Dem 28% 48% 17%


51% of Americans believe that it is the responsibility of the Federal government to make sure that all Americans have healthcare coverage.


55% strongly favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. 37% oppose that right. [Pew Research reports dated 12/15/15, 3/27/16, 3/31/16]

50% of us believe that the Affordable Care Act is working relatively well, but it needs some fixes. 46% believe it is fatally flawed and should be repealed and replaced. [Bloomberg Politics Poll/Selzer & Company 3/22/16]

29% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under any circumstances. 15% believe it should be legal in most circumstances; while an additional 38% believe it should be legal in just a few circumstances. 16% believe it should always be illegal. [CNN/ORC 3/20/16]

26% of Americans consider themselves to be Republicans, 34% consider themselves Democrats, and 34% say they are Independents. This is all but identical to how people described themselves at this time prior to the 2012 election. At this time in 2008, 27% described themselves as Republicans, 37% as Democrats, and 36% as Independents.

28% of us have a favorable image of the Republican Party, while 66% have an unfavorable opinion. The Democratic party is seen more favorably, with 46% of Americans having a favorable image and 48% having an unfavorable image. [ NYT/CBS 3/17/16]

Return to Home Page