Washington CNN  — 

Donald Trump is the only president in modern history to never crack 50% job approval in Gallup’s weekly tracking poll of how Americans perceive the job that the president is doing. 

But in the latest Gallup numbers, Trump is at 46% approval – the highest mark he has reached in more than two years as President.

Yes, more people still disapprove of the job Trump is doing (50%) than approve of it. And, yes, again, Trump has come close to 46% approval before – he got to 45% in June 2018 and in January 2017. And, yes, for a third time, there is no meaningful statistical difference between 45% approval and 46% approval.

But, still! This is Donald Trump we are talking about. A man who has struggled for much of his presidency to even win the approval of 40% of Americans for the job he is doing. Just look at Trump’s week-by-week performance in Gallup. Not good!

What explains Trump’s upward trajectory? Likely a series of good economic numbers – led by 3.2% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019. (Worth noting: The Gallup poll was out of the field by April 30, meaning that the gangbusters April jobs report isn’t even factored into Trump’s numbers.)

Dig into the numbers and you see something very interesting. Trump’s gains of late are not, as you might expect, from Republicans. Nine in 10 Republicans backed Trump in March, the same number who did so in April. It’s among Democrats where Trump’s job approval has improved the most month-to-month; just 4% approved of the job he was doing in March compared to 10% who said the same in April. Independents went from 33% job approval for Trump in March to 39% in April.

Obviously, Trump’s gains of late come even as special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the entire 448-page behemoth, with some redactions, has been released to the public. The report’s finding – no provable criminal conspiracy with the Russians by anyone within the Trump campaign, no recommendation on whether to charge Trump with obstruction of justice – remain a vigorously debated subject but don’t seem to have adversely affected how people perceive Trump to be doing his job.

All of which seems to prove the point White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made last week: “People will vote for somebody they don’t like if they think it’s good for them.”

The Point: The more the strong economy is front and center, the better for Trump. Now, all he needs to do is get out of his own way – which is easier said than done.