The Pew Research Center just released the results from a poll measuring how Americans are ranking the importance of various issues in this election year. Unsurprisingly, jobs, the overall economy, and the budget deficit are at the forefront of Americans' minds, and in a big way. Terrorism and illegal immigration, however, don't feel quite as urgent as they used to, and concerns about health care costs are actually down from five years ago. (And, greenies, ask yourselves why people are caring less and less about the environment and global warming: because environmental concerns wane in the face of a recession, and wealthier societies are healthier societies!)
Recognizing the issues with which Americans are most concerned these days really makes me appreciate NBC's Monday night debate, featuring such substantive, pressing topics as Terry Schiavo, tax returns, NASA, English as the official language, and Fidel Castro's hypothetical death. Just kidding.