Brazil Protests World Cup
A demonstrator holds a banner during one of the many protests around Brazil's major cities in Sao Paulo Reuters

The latest nuggets from Pew Research's Center for People and the Press show that slightly fewer Americans are dreading this year's midterm elections vs. looking forward to them, and they are more excited about the upcoming Winter Olympics than they are about politics.

"As 2014 begins and the midterm election campaigns heat up, about half of the public (51 percent) is especially looking forward to November’s congressional elections while 49 percent are not looking forward to them," the group said.

Some 58 percent of Americans are "especially looking forward to" the Winter Olympics, more than twice the excitement they can muster for the Academy Awards and the World Cup.

Not surprisingly, health care and the nation's economic well-being are the major issues for those polled. But the third hottest topic may come as a bit of a surprise. Respondents' data showed that the third most-followed issue ahead of the elections is marijuana policy.