The president, his party and the public's priorities

One of these things is not like the others.

Published June 5, 2006 9:20PM (EDT)

As the president and Republicans in Congress spend time this week pushing a constitutional amendment on gay marriage that has absolutely no chance of becoming law, perhaps they ought to take just a moment to check out the latest Gallup Poll. Gallup asked 1,003 Americans to say -- without any prompting from the pollsters -- what should be the "top priority for the president and Congress to deal with." Here is the complete tally of responses:

Situation in Iraq/war: 42 percent.

Fuel/oil prices/lack of energy sources/the energy crisis: 29 percent.

Immigration/illegal aliens: 23 percent.

Economy in general: 14 percent.

Poor healthcare/hospitals; high cost of healthcare: 12 percent.

Terrorism: 4 percent.

Education/poor education/access to education: 4 percent.

Federal budget deficit/federal debt: 3 percent.

Unemployment/jobs: 3 percent.

Taxes: 3 percent.

Social Security: 2 percent.

International issues/problems: 2 percent.

National security: 2 percent.

Environment/pollution: 2 percent.

Medicare: 2 percent.

Foreign aid/focus overseas: 2 percent.

Poor leadership/corruption/dissatisfaction with government/ Congress/politicians/candidates: 2 percent.

Poverty/ hunger/ homelessness: 1 percent.

Ethics/moral/religious/family decline; dishonesty; lack of integrity: 1 percent.

Natural disaster relief/funding: 1 percent.

Trade deficit/foreign trade: 1 percent.

High cost of living/inflation: 1 percent.

Unifying the country: Less than .5 percent.

Judicial system/courts/laws: Less than .5 percent.

Abortion: Less than .5 percent

Lack of money: Less than .5 percent.

Gap between rich and poor: Less than .5 percent.

Other: 1 percent.

No opinion: 4 percent.

Still looking for that part where people say "make a futile push for a constitutional amendment to stop homosexuals from getting married"? So are we.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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