Poll boost for Trump in states crucial to 2020 election victory
The 2020 US presidential election is on a knife-edge, according to polling of battleground states that shows Donald Trump performing much better than expected.
The president is way behind possible Democrat candidates in US-wide polls, but a different picture emerges when focusing on the swing states.
Surveys for 'The New York Times' of the states Mr Trump won most narrowly in 2016 - Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina - found that on average, Mr Trump trails former vice-president Joe Biden by a single percentage point, according to CNN.
The signs are even more encouraging for the president against other contenders, with Mr Trump beating Bernie Sanders by one point and Elizabeth Warren by three points.
The numbers suggest that in the states which will decide who wins in 2020, Mr Trump is in good shape. They will also add credence to claims by Mr Biden's camp that he is best placed to take on Mr Trump.
Mr Sanders and Ms Warren have outlined policy platforms more left-wing than those of any recent Democratic nominees. Mr Trump appears to be preparing for a campaign against opponents he calls "radical socialists".
Yesterday, the Democrat-controlled committee leading the impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump's conduct in Ukraine released transcripts of testimony from two key witnesses, which revolves around Mr Trump's attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Mr Biden.
Ousted US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said a smear campaign against her was partly pushed by Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump's personal lawyer, and State Department official Michael McKinley said the department did not act on his request for a statement in support of Ms Yovanovitch.
Also yesterday, a US federal appeals court ruled that Mr Trump's tax returns can be turned over to New York prosecutors by his personal accountant. Mr Trump's lawyers are expected to appeal to the US Supreme Court. (© Daily Telegraph, London)