President Obama's approval ratings are the highest since May 2013, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday evening. 

While half of Americans still disapprove of Obama, 48 percent approve of his job as president, boosted by double-digit gains among women, independents and young adults, according to CNN.

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Following a disastrous midterm election cycle that saw many Democrats tied to the unpopular president and defeated, Obama has acted alone on a number of initiatives. He moved to shield upwards of 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation and to normalize relations with Cuba. 

Still, 56 percent of Americans say the president has fallen short of their expectations. Nearly half, 49 percent, say his policies would put the nation on the wrong course.

The president, currently a few days into his annual two-week Christmas vacation to Hawaii, saw welcome news Tuesday with another CNN poll showing that for the first time in seven years a majority of Americans hold a positive view of the economy.

The poll found 51 percent rate the economy as "good" compared to only 38 percent in October. The percent who rate the economy as "poor" remained steady at 49 percent.

Both polls were conducted Dec. 18-21.