State of the Nation

24% of registered voters say the country is headed in the right direction. 68% of registered voters say the country is on the wrong track. [Econ/YouGov 10/10/23]

What does friendship look like in America?

  • No close friends 8%
  • 1 close friend 7%
  • 2 close friends 14%
  • 3 close friends 18%
  • 4 close friends 13%
  • 5+ close friends 38%

A majority of U.S. adults say most of their close friends share their race or ethnicity.

All adults 63%

  • White 70%
  • Black 62%
  • Hispanic 47%
  • Asian 52%
  • Ages 18-29 53%
  • 30-49 62%
  • 50-64 63%
  • 65+ 70%

(PEW RC 10/12/23)

Majorities in both parties, support age limits for federal elected officials.

% who favor putting a maximum age limit in place for:

Dem/LDem Rep/LRep Total
Elected officials in Wash, DC 76^ 82% 79%
Supreme Court Justices 68% 82% 74%

[Pew 7/16/23]

Older U.S. adults are more likely to prefer having an older president.

% who say it is best for president to be in their…

  • 30s – 3%
  • 40s – 17%
  • 50s – 49%
  • 60s – 24%
  • 70 or older – 3%

[PEW 6/11/23]

There is broad support for a number of significant structural changes to politics.

Oppose Favor
Limit number of terms that members can serve 12% 87%
Put a maximum age limit for elected officials in D.C. 20 79
Require all voters to show government issued to vote 22 76
Put a maximum age limit for Supreme Court Justices 24 74
Automatic registration for all eligible citizens to vote 37 62
Increase number of Supreme Court Justices 51 46

A majority of Americans favor replacing Electoral College with popular vote for presidential elections :

Change Electoral Keep Electoral
65% 33%

Should the size of the U.S. House of Representatives change?

Increase Stay same Decrease
Total 29% 53% 15%
Rep/Lean Rep 23 60 15
Dem/Lean Rep 34 49 16

Roughly two thirds of Americans oppose changing the Constitution to give larger states more senators.

The Constitution should be:

Amended Not Amended
Total 32% 66%
Rep/Lean Rep 19 80
Dem/Lean Dem 45 54

[PEW 9/19/23]

Commutes under 30 minutes were more commonplace between 2019 and 2022, per the U.S. Census Bureau while those 30 minutes and longer became rarer.

36.8% of U.S. workers had commutes of 15-29 minutes in 2022 up from 35.6% in 2019. 26% had a commute of less than 15 minutes up from 24.8%. The two above groups represent 85.5 million people.

20.9% of workers had a commute of 30-44 minutes in 2022, down from 21.2% in 2019. 7.9% of workers had a commute of 45-59 minutes in 2022, down from 8.5%. 8.5% of workers had a commute of an hour or more, down from 9.8%. These groups represent 50.8 million people. [Axios: what next 10/19/23]

330,000 American workers have been part of strikes since the start of September, The number of workers on strike has increased nearly 10-fold since 2021.

  • January 1 to October 11, 2021 – 188 strikes involving about 47,800 workers.
  • January 1 to October 11, 2022 – 345 strikes involving about 126, 800 workers.
  • January 1 to October 11, 2023 – 318 strikes involving about 468, 200 workers.

Between 2000 and 2017, the average number of workers on strike shrunk to about 100,000 per year. [Mike Allen 10/16/23]

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

November 7th was not a good night for Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin went into the evening with the Republicans in control of the Virginia House of Delegates and Democrats in control of the Virginia State Senate. Youngkin’s goal was capturing the latter and having a Republican controlled trifecta.

There was a fair amount of confidence on the Republican side that the trifecta would happen and there was the beginning of talk that perhaps Youngkin would be a late entry into the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

As you already know it did not quite work out that way. As the evening came to an end, Youngkin was standing alone with the Democrats having taken over control of the Virginia House of Delegates and thus controlling two thirds of the Virginia government. Any talk of the governor becoming part of the 2024 election was as if it had never been uttered.

Among the actions that Youngkin was pushing was a 15-week ban on abortions.

Since his losses, there are experts saying that Youngkin has his eyes set on Virginia’s Senate seat since he cannot run for re-election as Governor until the term after the next one. (Individuals cannot serve successive terms as governor in Virginia.) Many are suggesting that Youngkin challenge Senator Tim Kaine who is up for re-election in 2024.

Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger has announced that she is not running for re-election and is instead going to run for governor.

On the evening of November 14, by a vote of 336 to 95, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the government. Democrats provided most of the votes for the measure, which passed under a special rule that required two-thirds of the House to agree to it. The Democrats provided 209 “yes” votes, the Republicans, 127. Two Democrats and 93 Republicans opposed the measure. [Heather Cox Richardson 11/14/23]

The following are the top three concerns of American voters right now compared with the share of voters who think the Democratic and Republican parties focus on these issues.

Issues All Voters Democratic Focus Republican Focus
Price increases/Inflation 32% 8% 14%
Immigration 27% 8% 20%
Economy and jobs 24% 13% 14%

The following are the issues that American voters believe the Republican and Democratic parties must focus on today.

Democratic Party Focus % Republican Party Focus %
Abortion 21% Immigration 20%
Guns/school safety 17% National debt 26%
Environment/climate change 17% Abortion 15%

[No Labels, Ryan Clancy 11/14/23]

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: Statement of the Court Regarding the Code of Conduct

The undersigned Justices are promulgating this Code of Conduct to set to succinctly and gather in one place the ethics rules and principles that guide the conduct of the Members of the Court. For the most part these rules and principles are not new: The Court has long had the equivalent of common law ethics rules, that is a body of rules derived from a variety of sources, including statutory provisions, the code that applies to other members of the federal judiciary, ethics advisory opinions issued by the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct and historic practice. – (this opening statement is a beginning part of the 9-page Code of Conduct issued by the Court, signed by

John C Roberts, Jr. Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito, Jr, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett M Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barett, Ketanji Brown Jackson.


The official BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2023 is 3.9%.

If one considers the total number of unemployed + those marginally attached to the labor force + those working part-time who want full-time work, the unemployment rate is 7.2% in October 2023, greater than the 6.7 % it was a year earlier.

The Labor Force Participation rate (LFPR) in October 2023 is 62.7%, higher than the 62.2% October 2022.

The Demographics of Unemployment for October 2023

Unemployment by Gender (20 years and older)

  • Women – 2.9 % (up from last month)
  • Men – 3.4% (down from last month)

Unemployment by Race

  • White – 3.5% (up from last month)
  • Black – 5.8 % (up from last month)
  • Hispanic – 4.8 % (up from last month)
  • Asian – 3.1% (up from last month)

Unemployment by Education (25 years & over)

  • Less than high school – 5.8 % (up from last month)
  • High School – 4.0 % (down from last month)
  • Some college – 3.1 % (up from last month)
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher – 2.1 % (same as last month)

3 in 10 young adults in America hold two or more jobs, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. [NYT 10/1/23]

Millennials aren’t having kids. America’s birthrate remains mired near record lows. In 2022 the annual live births per 1,000 women age 15-44 was 56.

Share of women who have never given birth, by age.

  • 83% of women 18-19
  • 62% of women 20-24
  • 35% of women 25-29
  • 17% of women 30-34
  • 12% of women 40-44

Share of women who have given birth only once, by age.

  • 10% of those 18-19
  • 12% of those 20-24
  • 25% of those 25-29
  • 10% of those 40-44
  • 23% of those 35-39
  • 23% of those 30-34

Number of times women have given birth in their lifetime, average, ages 25-44

  • 10% – 4 – 5+
  • 17% – 1
  • 19% – 0 and 3
  • 27% – 2

[National Center for Health Statistics 11/3/23]