The election environment for congressional incumbents in 2014 will be challenging, with several key public opinion indicators as negative or nearly as negative as they have been in any recent midterm election year. This includes congressional job approval, which, at 16%, is on pace to be the lowest in a midterm election year since Gallup first measured it in 1974. …

Americans are not just down on Congress, but also are quite unhappy with the direction of the country more generally. Currently, 23% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., on par with the 22% satisfaction at the time of the 2010 elections and the 24% before the 1982 elections. Both of those elections saw significant turnover in congressional membership. …

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating from Gallup Daily tracking has averaged 44% thus far in June. That is the same as his approval rating at the time of the 2010 elections, when Democrats lost more than 60 seats in the House.