Right after I wrote about the rash of disapproval affecting our country, the AP released this encouraging poll. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entrance into the 2012 presidential race appears to have done more than knock Mitt Romney off the frontrunner pedestal:

Most Republicans say they’re now satisfied with their choices in presidential candidates, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Friday.

Sixty-four percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they are satisfied with their options in candidates to face off against President Obama next fall. That represents an increase since June, when just half of Republicans said they were pleased with the candidates in the field.

Thirty percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they were dissatisfied with the candidates, a number that’s down since mid-June, when the last AP-GfK poll had been conducted.

But while Republicans are more satisfied with the field as a whole, the respondents in general (Democrats, Republicans and independents) didn’t deliver particularly high favorability ratings for any of the candidates. In fact, only two of the politicians listed in the poll had a favorability rating that outstripped the percentage of respondents reporting an unfavorable view of them — and those two were Ron Paul and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is not even an official candidate. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of Ron Paul, while 36 percent have an unfavorable view. Fifty percent have a favorable view of Giuliani and 40 percent have an unfavorable view.

Among the three frontrunners, Mitt Romney fared best, although his favorability rating declined from the last such AP/Gfk poll. Just thirty-nine percent said they have a favorable view of him compared to 45 percent in June. Forty-one percent now have an unfavorable view, compared to just 35 percent in June. Michele Bachmann also took a beating, with her favorability rating declining two points from 37 percent in June to 35 percent now and the percentage of those who have an unfavorable view of her increasing from 28 in June to 43 today. Both numbers went up for Rick Perry. In June, 22 percent of respondents had a favorable view of him and 25 had an unfavorable view. Today, 33 percent have a favorable view and 36 percent have an unfavorable view.