Don't look now, but four weeks after the 2014 election, people are starting to notice the economic recovery.

In the run-up to Election Day 2014, economic optimism was in short supply for Democrats eager to capitalize on a succession of strong jobs reports and a thriving stock market. Through it all, Americans just weren't ready to believe the recovery was actually happening -- or at least that it was happening for them personally.

That's largely still the case, but it also appears to be starting to change in some small ways.


1) A new Gallup poll on Tuesday showed its Economic Confidence Index virtually matching the post-recession high, at -8. This measure, despite month after month of 200,000-plus jobs created in advance of the 2014 election, hadn't really budged.

2) The same Gallup poll showed daily consumer spending also nearing a post-recession high, at $95.

3) A CNN/Opinion Research poll last week showed, for the first time since the recession, a majority of Americans believed that things were going at least "fairly well" in the United States.

4) The same poll showed another post-recession first, with more people thinking the economy was improving than getting worse (though a plurality still believed it was static).

5) And we can't help but think that a lot of the above has to do with this: gas prices. They also just hit -- you guessed it -- a post-recession low.

Even as these measures tick toward post-recession bests, though, plenty of other indicators lag. When you ask people whether they are satisfied with the conditions in this country or whether they think it's on the right track, you'll still get an overwhelmingly negative response.

In addition, the charts above show plenty of peaks and valleys, and the current peaks could be fleeting. Especially if gas prices hike back up, economic confidence is quite likely to take a hit.

But even these sorts of isolated good-news indicators were largely absent in the final weeks of Democrats' arduous 2014 campaign. And that certainly hurt Democrats, given that the occupant of the White House is one of their own.