Tellingly, the Frustration Index is a cool 19 among the few who say the economy's in excellent or good shape, rising to 65 among those who say it's not so good -- and 83 among the more than four in 10 who say the economy is in poor shape. In partisan terms, the index is relatively low (48) among liberal Democrats, but 81 among conservative Republicans; and likewise 48 among Obama supporters in a match-up with Romney, while 85 among Romney supporters.
Among the index's components, and related survey results in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates:
A vast 89 percent of Americans say the economy's in bad shape. It's ranged from 87 to 94 percent steadily since spring 2008. This gets old; people want relief. But 57 percent say that in terms of their own experience, the economy has not yet even begun to recover from the recession. And among the minority that says a recovery has begun, 81 percent say it's a weak one.
The president's bin Laden bounce is gone. He had a 47 percent job approval rating in April. That bounced to 56 percent in a Post/Pew poll immediately after Osama bin Laden was killed. It's back, exactly, to 47 percent now. Forty-nine percent disapprove of the president's performance, including 53 percent of independents, and strong disapprovers outnumber strong approvers by 10 points.
More -- 59 percent, a new high -- disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, which, in a nutshell, is what the public's frustration is all about. Obama also is back to about an even split with the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the economy -- 42 percent pick him, 45 percent the GOP. This also was essentially tied in December, then moved away from the GOP in January and March; we're now back to an even division on this most fundamental issue. On the deficit Obama fares worse -- 33 percent approval, down six points since April to a career low.
In another expression of the public's discontent, just 34 percent say they're inclined to re-elect their representative in Congress. Fifty-five percent, instead, say they'll look around for someone new, a level of anti-incumbency as high as it was in early October 2010. If it holds, the risk may not be just to Obama, but to any and all officeholders associated with the status quo.
In two equally critical measures, 66 percent say the country's seriously off on the wrong track and 69 percent describe themselves as dissatisfied or even angry with the way the federal government is working. Both are not quite as high as they were just before the last midterms -- but close. And 25 percent are downright angry about the way the government is operating, tying the high in polls since 1992.
ROMNEY/PALIN -- Romney faces his own challenges. There's potential risk from the health care plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts in 2006: Leaned Republicans by 2-1, 41 percent to 21 percent, say they oppose that plan; and while a mere 3 percent support it strongly, 25 percent describe themselves as strong opponents.
So far it's not hurting Romney significantly; even among those who oppose the law, 20 percent support him for the nomination, and in a match-up with Obama, 88 percent in this group take Romney. At the same time a substantial 37 percent of leaned Republicans haven't formed an opinion of the law yet; where they wind up may matter.