The 2014 election was full of muted issues that kinda, sorta, maybe, might have tipped the scales in favor of Republicans (Ebola? The Islamic State? Obamacare?). But one issue stands out as particularly odd: The economy.

The economy, after all, is what voters almost always say is their top priority. And Democrats had to be heartened to see eight straight months of more than 200,000 jobs created prior to Nov. 4, an unemployment rate dipping below 6 percent, and a thriving stock market.

The economic picture in the homes of Americans, though, was a far different one. In fact, despite progress at the macro level, Americans' views of their own families' economies were basically unchanged -- even from the doldrums of the economic recession.

The chart below tells the tale as well as anything we've seen.

Democratic pollster Democracy Corps has for years been asking people to rate both their personal finances and the national economy on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being really good and 0 being, well, about how people feel about Congress and Ebola.

You'll notice that one of these lines slopes upward. The other one -- the one that actually matters when it comes to actual votes -- does not.

The macro number (in red) is up to an average of 29 which, while not good, is still better than the single digits in the earliest days of the recession. It's progress.

The personal-finance number, though, as of late October, was stuck at an average of 51. Back at the end of 2009, it was 50, and the lowest it ever got was 44. That's not progress.

Even Obama, while trying to pump up the economic progress during his presidency, acknowledged this uneasy dichotomy. "They don't feel it," Obama said of the economic progress he believes his Administration had made in a "60 Minutes" interview in late September. "And the reason they don't feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up."

In the end, this was a big reason Democrats didn't have something to run on in 2014. And without a cogent argument for the success of the Obama Administration, their voters were left unmotivated and their candidates were left twisting in the wind.