[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/03/art.economy.gi.jpg caption="The number of Americans who say the economy is their top issue is on the rise, according to a new national poll."]Washington (CNN) - The number of Americans who say the economy is their top issue is on the rise, according to a new national poll.
Forty-seven percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning say the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. That's up 6 points from August.
Health care, at 17 percent, remains second on the list. But the issue is down a few points from August, indicating that the furor caused by the late summer town hall meetings may be fading somewhat on the minds of most Americans.
"Third on the list are the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with indications that more Americans are concerned by that issue as President Barack Obama continues a lengthy debate over whether to send more troops into combat," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
The federal budget deficit also makes it into double digits, followed by education, terrorism and energy in single digits.
The poll suggests a geographic divide on the economy. In southern and western states, roughly half say that the economy is their biggest concern. In the Northeast and Midwest, the economy remains the number-one issue, but only four in ten say it is their top priority.
The survey's release comes as the Labor Department unveils the unemployment report for October. It also comes as the president plans to quickly sign legislation just passed by Congress that will offer up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment insurance, according to senior administration officials.
CNN polling released earlier in the week indicated that 47 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling unemployment, with 52 percent disapproving of the job the president's doing on the issue.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 30-November 1, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.