Poll Rates Government Response to Gulf Spill Lower than Katrina Response

A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively.

That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.

BP's response to the spill draws even broader criticism – 81 percent rate it negatively. And 64 percent say the government should pursue criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the spill, which has poured oil into the Gulf from a well 5,000 feet beneath the surface since an explosion and fire destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig April 20.

The federal government's handing of the Gulf oil spill is even worse than its reaction to Hurricane Katrina, and BP should face criminal charges related to the disaster, a majority of Americans say in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. The feds' reaction was "poor" or "not so good," according to 69% of respondents—and that looks pretty good compared with the 81% who deemed BP's response inadequate.