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Members of the U.S. Congress applaud as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a Joint Session at the U.S. Capitol September 8, 2011 in Washington, D.C. - 

As we steam toward the election, pollsters are after new ways to peer into voters' psyches. In this week's Attitude Check, we check in with Gallup's editor-in-chief, Frank Newport, about how Americans are viewing Republicans and Democrats on a couple of subjects.

First up: Which party can do a better job "keeping the country prosperous" --  a question recently asked.

Right now, the Democrats are beating the Republicans as the party best able to keep the country prosperous, 51-42 percent. It's a turnaround from the last several years, and it could bode well for the Dems in the upcoming elections.

When it comes to the question: "which party do you think will do a better job protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats?", the two parties are tied -- before the news yesterday of the embassy killings in Libya.