Poll: Anger, Anti-Incumbency: It's Frustration, 2010-Style

The oil spill can't be helping, but may be contributing more to broader dissatisfaction with the government than with Obama himself. Slightly more disapprove than approve of his handling of the oil spill, 49 percent to 44 percent; however this is much less negative than the oil spill ratings given to the federal government overall, and especially to BP. (See separate report released Monday.)

Frustration Index: Public Divided Over Obama's Handling of Economy

Given its sorry shape, Obama's also getting less abuse than might be expected on the economy: The public divides on his performance there, 50 percent to 49 percent, with approval basically flat from April, but slightly (5 points) better than it was at its lows in February and March. Moreover, the number who say it's improving, 30 percent in this poll, has gained 7 points this year.

INDEX -- Capturing economic and political views alike, the ABC News Frustration Index has tracked closely with election outcomes in the past -- measured both by the re-election of House incumbents and the success of the then-president's party.

The index has seen frustration highs in 1992, when it hit 73 as a recession-battered public prepared to remove incumbent George H.W. Bush from office; 1994, when it saw 63 as a still-annoyed electorate gave the GOP control of Congress; 62 in 2006, when the Democrats regained control amid widespread rejection of George W. Bush; and 80 in 2008, as the economy tanked. These compare to its lowest, 39 in 1998, when incumbent re-election peaked in this period.

At 67 today, frustration is solidly in the red zone -- an indicator worth watching as the 2010 midterms approach.

METHODOLOGY -- This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone June 3-6, 2010, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results for the full sample have a 3.5-point error margin. Click here for a detailed description of sampling error. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, PA.

ABC News polls can be found at ABCNEWS.com at abcnews.com/pollingunit.

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