Chad’s Morning Brief: Internal Poll Shows Greg Abbott Leading Wendy Davis, Obama Pushes For a Coalition Against ISIS, and Other Top Stories
Abbott Leads Big
Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott leads Democratic rival Wendy Davis by 18 percentage points in his campaign’s latest internal survey, his pollster told supporters Wednesday evening.The poll, which was completed last week, shows Abbott beating Davis 53 to 35 percent, Chris Wilson of WPA Opinion Research said on a conference call for people who gave $25 or more to Abbott’s campaign.
Wilson also told supporters the survey has Abbott ahead of Davis by 6 points among women and 11 points among Hispanics.
Davis pollster Joel Benenson has said her campaign’s internal polling indicates the race is “very much within striking distance.” Most public polling this year has shown Davis trailing Abbott by double digits, though a Rasmussen survey last month had her down by 8 points.
Asked whether anyone from the Davis campaign listened in on the call, spokesman Zac Petkanas replied, “No, I’m not big on science fiction.”
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron will use this week's NATO summit to press for a multi-national coalition to carry out military action against the Islamic State militant group, formerly known as ISIS.
The two leaders began laying the groundwork for their mission in a joint op-ed published in Thursday's edition of The Times of London. In the piece, Obama and Cameron vowed that their leaders would "not be cowed" by the extremists who have beheaded two American journalists and threatened a British aid worker with the same fate in recent weeks.
"We will be more forthright in the defense of our values, not least because a world of greater freedom is a fundamental part of how we keep our people safe," the op-ed states.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that over the past day, Secretary of State John Kerry and other administration officials have reached out to leaders from Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Israel to discuss how to combat ISIS. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the discussions focused on what each country might contribute -- including weapons, humanitarian aid and other resources -- and noted that some nations already have.
Obama "wants to build an international coalition," Psaki said. "That's not going to be overnight. We need capabilities from many countries."
Obama has been under pressure from members of Congress to broaden the U.S. offensive against ISIS. That criticism increased last week when Obama admitted that "we don't have a strategy yet" to address the militant group in Syria, and deepened when the president first said that his goal was to "degrade and destroy" ISIS Wednesday, before changing tone and saying that he thought the U.S. could make ISIS a "manageable problem" if American forces were part of an international coalition.
"Are we going to contain ISIS or are we going to crush ISIS? And the president has not answered that," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., told Fox News, reacting to the president's remarks.
Administration officials said Wednesday that that the U.S. will not launch a ground war against the Islamic State militants. But they stopped short of ruling out airstrikes against the group in its safe haven in Syria, as the U.S. has resisted for years.
Obama has "been clear that we're not going to be limited by geography," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She described a range of actions being considered against the Islamic State, and noted that decisions and discussions were ongoing.
So the United States has already ruled out ground troops? Great strategy.
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