American optimism about economy hits all-time high

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The economy under Trump has the approval of more Americans than ever before, but the same can’t be said of the president himself.

According to the third quarter CNBC All-America Economic Survey, 43 percent of American believe the economy to be in “excellent or good” condition, the highest total in the 10-year history of the survey. However, just 38 percent of the public approves of Trump’s job as president, up a point from June, while 52 percent disapproves, also up a point.

Negative reports about the economy since Trump took office have been few and far between, with positive projections being touted by many leading economists. Thirty-six percent of individuals believe the economy will get better, down a couple of points from last quarter, but just 23 percent say it will get worse, down 6 points.

However, the same cannot be said for Trump in other policy areas. Republican and Democratic pollsters say Trump’s approval will likely stick in the high 30s, and won’t move as much in response to sensational stories as earlier in his presidency. Experts still marvel at Trump’s ability to manipulate his image among his staunchest supporters.

Micah Roberts, the Republican pollster for CNBC with Public Opinion Strategies, sees good news for the president. “You can’t get any lower with Democrats and independents are going to fly all over the place and you’re holding your base,” Roberts said. “And you’ve got an extremely positive economic outlook. People are feeling positive about the economy and that’s undergirding all of this data.”

“He has an uncanny ability to sell himself to his base and convince people that whatever he is doing is right,” said Jay Campbell, the Democratic pollster for CNBC with Hart Research. “They’re invested in their guy, the guy they voted for.”

On the other side of the coin, the polls show the president does not have majority support from any income group. His best showing, among Americans with $100,000 in income or greater, shows an approval rating of just 43 percent.

Americans are confident in his abilities in the areas of tax reform, infrastructure, and renegotiating trade deals, but his plans for immigration, climate change and Obamacare drag his numbers down.

Asked which one or two items are the biggest obstacles to the president achieving his goals, 39 percent of the public said “his erratic personal behavior,” 21 percent said Democrats in Congress, and 19 percent picked “biased media coverage.”

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