What do people name as the top national priority? You're thinking, "Aha! Trick question! It's so obvious!"
No trick. Just like you guessed, it's the economy. A CBS News/NYTimes poll had 60 percent of adults nationwide saying the economy is, to borrow from CNN, job #1.
In second place? Other.
I don't know what the hell other is, given the long list of topics scoring from 2 or 3 percent. In that list you've got stuff like war in Iraq, family values, education, health care, poverty, and the ever-popular "unsure." Given the margin of error, there is a huge tie for second among nine different topics.
Other recent surveys show largely the same thing -- economy first, a host of other issues tied at a distant second. What people know out there is that things are bad, getting worse, and there's not an overload of confidence in government's ability -- Democratic or Republican -- to fix the mess. Sometimes political knowledge comes down to direct experience, and I'm betting average people out there have a hell of a lot more direct experience with job loss and tough economic times than do the suits in D.C. of either party.