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

Ahead of 2010 midterms, American discontent well above the boiling point.

ByABC News via logo
June 7, 2010, 5:09 PM

June 8, 2010 -- Anti-incumbency's spiked to a new peak, anger at the government has tied its high, Americans' customary approval of their own representative in Congress has hit a 16-year low -- and a new ABC News index measuring all this pent-up discontent is well above the boiling point.

It has all the makings of a hot political summer.

Click here for a PDF with charts and questionnaire.

The mood's captured in ABC's newly minted Frustration Index, based on four fundamental measures of public attitudes -- ratings of the president's performance, views of the economy, satisfaction with government and support for incumbents. Figured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 the grouchiest, the index today stands at 67. It's been higher just twice in available data -- in 2008, as the economy fell into the abyss, and in 1992, amid the debris of the last deep recession.

Click Here: ABC News' Frustration Index Explained

The sign reads "incumbents beware." The Frustration Index is higher than its estimated level in 1994, when the Republicans seized control of Congress for the first time in 42 years; and in 2006, when the Democrats took it back. (See details of the index, and historical data, here.)

Other data from individual questions in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll make it look even more like a political pigeon shoot. Consider: