Americans love the economy — but most still don't like Trump

Key Points
  • A Quinnipiac poll says 66 percent of American voters view the economy as "excellent" or "good."
  • But only 36 percent say they approve of President Trump's performance.
  • A larger percentage of voters give Trump's predecessor Barack Obama credit for the current state of the economy.
Protesters hold a placard reading 'Pro America - Anti-Trump'.
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump sees a healthy U.S. economy as his biggest success in the White House.

But Americans' glowing views of the economy have not yet translated to broad support for the president.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump highlighted Wednesday's Quinnipiac University poll that showed 66 percent of voters view the economy as "excellent" or "good." That figure rose from 63 percent in December, and is the highest reading since the university started asking the question in 2001.

Trump: In new Quinnipiac Poll, 66% of people feel the economy is "Excellent or Good." That is the highest number ever recorded by this poll.

The same poll, however, showed that economic optimism has not generated support for the job Trump is doing as president.

Only 36 percent approve of Trump, while 59 percent disapprove, the survey says. In December, 37 percent approved of the job the president was doing, while 59 percent disapproved.

Views on Trump's character traits "may serve to neutralize the optimism" about the U.S. economy, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Voters believe Trump is not honest by a 63 to 34 percent margin, while they think by a 59 percent to 39 percent margin that he does not have good leadership skills, the poll says. In addition, respondents by a 59 percent to 38 percent margin believe he does not care about the average American.

"Those from-the-gut reactions from voters tell us that Americans are not yet connecting with the president despite a surging economy," Malloy told CNBC.

Another data point in the poll sheds some light on how Americans view the economy. A larger percentage of voters — 49 percent — say they think Trump's predecessor President Barack Obama is more responsible for the current state of the economy, the poll shows. Forty percent say Trump has more to do with it.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the poll.

Trump, who won the White House partly on promises to kickstart American job growth and encourage companies to move foreign operations to the U.S., has repeatedly highlighted monthly jobs figures and stock market records as evidence that his agenda has worked.

The poll of 1,106 American voters, conducted from Jan. 5 to Jan. 9, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points.

Here's how the gains in the stock and jobs market under Trump compare to other presidents.

Trump: Jobs report was good, will get really good
Trump: Jobs report was good, will get really good