Poll: Economic outlook best in 9 years

WASHINGTON — Americans are more positive about the nation’s economy than they have been in nine years, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

In a reflection of rising optimism, 53% of Americans say economic conditions in the US are good, up from the 45% who felt that way in June. It’s the highest number since September 2007, before the 2008 economic collapse.

The poll also showed that President Barack Obama continues to have majority approval ratings, at 51%. His approval rating has been at or above 50% since February, the longest stretch of his presidency since his first year in office.

The 51% is down 3 points since the Democratic National Convention.

Obama has a 50% approval rating on the economy, but only 44% approve of his handling of terrorism and 37% of his handling of ISIS.

The numbers come as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are locked in a tight race to succeed Obama, with Trump largely running on a populist, heavily anti-trade platform.

While traditionally a positive view of the economy and high presidential rating would bode well for the President’s party in November, the 2016 cycle has defied tradition time and again.

Democrats and independents are more likely to say the economy is in good shape, rising to a 78% mark among Democrats from 69% in June. Among independents, the view went from 41% in June to 49% this month. Among Republicans, only 28% felt the economy was in good shape, slightly up from 24% in June.

Nationally, Republicans have a negligible edge in House seats on a generic ballot, with likely voters saying they would vote for a Republican over Democrat in their district 49% to 47%.

There is a gender gap, with men favoring Republicans 56% to 40% and women favoring Democrats 53% to 43%, but that gap pales in comparison to the presidential race. Independents lean toward supporting Republicans, at 55%.

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 1-4 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. For results among the full sample of adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.