Just a little recent polling data to cure in your brain of the weekend. A joint CBS/New York Times poll found that Americans hold favorable views of the Democratic Party 49-43, and the Republican Party 36-55. That's a 13 point deficit for the GOP on the plus side, a +6 margin for Democrats, and a -19 point margin for Republicans.
Mitt Romney is viewed favorably by just 33% of Americans, with 40% holding unfavorable views. With numbers like that, Romney really should be losing this election by a more substantial margin. It really shows just how many conservatives/Republicans dislike their own candidate, but dislike Barack Obama even more.
Americans say the county is moving in the right direction 40-54, but that's up this year. It was 15-76 in November of 2011, 25-69 in December, 29-63 in March of this year, 31-62 last month, and 40-54 from September 8th through the 12th, after the poor August jobs report and just after the end of the Democratic National Convention. "Right track" sentiments haven't been this high since September of 2009.
50% of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling foreign policy, while 36% disapprove. That's up from 45% in August and 41% in July, but is down from a high of 59% in the spring of 2009.
President Obama's job approval is 51-42, the best spread he's had since a Bloomberg outlier in June.
Rasmussen has returned to showing a 3 point lead for Mitt Romney, and is the only polling firm to do that since August 22nd. It is well out of the aggregate and once again calls into question Rasmussen's credibility as a legitimate, neutral pollster. Obama has tied or lead in 12 straight polls with leads ranging from 1 point (ABC/WaPo, Sept 7-9) to 6 points (CNN/OR, Sep 7-9). Excluding Rasmussen as an outlier, Obama's average lead since the beginning of September is 3.08 points.
Obama has lead in 50 polls out of the last 66 (75.7%), and lead or tied 57 (86.3%).
What does all of that mean?
Obama's convention bounce is holding for the moment, the bad jobs report didn't hurt his numbers at all, and if the Democratic Party ever improved its image, it would run away with Congress. Americans are largely split on Dems in Congress which probably means that people are more disappointed than they are opposed to the Democratic agenda, whereas they seem to really, really dislike the Republican Party and its 2012 nominee.