Some good news from the polling firm Gallup. According to their recent aggregate of polls, the national percentage of folks who either are in or lean towards the Republican Party is at 45%, or it's highest point in five years. Not only this, but less people identify with the Democratic Party, with their ratit 46%.
Keep in mind that now the Dems only lead the GOP by one point in party ID, while Rasmussen's polling gives Republican candidates a ten point lead over a generic Democrat for the 2010 Congressional vote. In 2004 when President Bush beat John Kerry by 3%, Democrats held a party-id lead of 48%-45%. Now with the GOP within one the enthusiasm gap could play a large role in determining not only this year's election but also the one in 2012.
The six-point rise in Republican support since the first quarter of 2009 is due entirely to a growing proportion of independents who lean to the Republican Party, rather than an increase in the percentage of Americans who identify as Republicans outright. (Gallup measures party identification by first asking Americans whether they identify as Republicans, Democrats, or independents. Those who are independent or express no party preference are then asked whether they lean more toward the Democratic or the Republican Party.)