In America, the public is more interested in news about the weather than the controversy surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's staffers and their involvement in lane closures on a bridge in New Jersey.

A new Pew Research study shows that 44 percent of Americans were following the news of the colder-than-normal temperatures, while 28 percent were following stories of the U.S. economy.

The third most important story to Americans is the unemployment debate in Washington, with 19 percent, followed by 18 percent for news of the Christie bridge story.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' critical book on the Obama administration is tied at 11 percent with the Iraqi fighting in Fallujah, rounding up the top topics during the survey, which was conducted Jan. 9-13. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Sixty percent of survey respondents pointed out that their opinions of Christie haven't changed after learning about the news about the bridge closing; only 16 percent said that they view Christie less favorably.