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SOTU Scoop
October 8th, 2014
04:56 PM ET

SOTU Scoop

By CNN's Tracey Webb

Get your daily scoop of what we're watching October 8, 2014

1. Ebola in America. The first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. has died. Thomas Eric Duncan arrived in America from Liberia in mid-September. Although some members of his family are now isolated and being monitored, they so far have shown now symptoms of Ebola. In announcing Duncan's death, the Dallas hospital where he is being treated, said in a statement "Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in this unit, as well as the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital community are grieving his passing.  We have offered family our condolences and support at this difficult time.

2. ISIS. Bombardment by U.S. and allied airstrikes in Iraq and Syria does not seem to be stopping the terrorist group. ISIS appears to be close to taking control of the Syria-Turkey border town of Kobani. Even U.S. officials are acknowledging  air attacks will not be enough to destroy the Islamic militant group even as airstrikes pound ISIS targets. "We are doing everything we can to halt" ISIS, said Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John. Kirby. U.S. officials said Kobani will likely to the jihadist fighters.

3.  Campaigner-in-chief. His job approval ratings may be bad (in the low 40s) but the White House says President Obama will campaign for Democratic candidates in the final weeks of the midterms. The President will focus on polices aimed at middle-class voters. "The President has already succeeded in making a pretty aggressive case about why that's important for the country and I would anticipate that in the context of upcoming elections, you'll hear that again," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. Obama will not be campaigning in red states where Democratic candidates are most vulnerable.

4. What's up with Kansas? The state's Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts is running neck-in-neck with independent challenger Greg Orman. A new CNN/ORC poll find Robers with 49% among likely voters to Orman's 48%. There isn't a Democratic candidate in the race, as party nominee Chad Taylor dropped out several weeks ago. A Kansas judge ruled Taylor's name had to remain on the ballot, but that doesn't appear to be helping Roberts. Could control of the Senate come down to the GOP losing beet-red Kansas?

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