Buzz Board: Will Iowa Swing Senate Control?

ABC News' Jonathan Karl and the powerhouse roundtable discuss the hotly-contested Iowa Senate race and whether the GOP will retake the Senate.
3:28 | 09/14/14

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Transcript for Buzz Board: Will Iowa Swing Senate Control?
buzz board kicking it off here in Iowa where the race for the senate is a dead heat. I'm Joni Ernst. I'm Bruce Braley. A new poll shows Bruce Braley democrat and republican Joni Ernst neck and neck to replace democrat Tom Harkin. Iowa could decide control of the senate and democrats are calling in the big guns, Michelle Obama. The first lady hits the trail next month bringing star power, but not her husband's low approval rating. Just 38% in Iowa. And time for our weekly check-in fivethirtyeight. They give Braley a 55% chance of winning the seat but republican chances of taking over the senate, at 59%, down three points from last week. All right. Back with our roundtable, donna Brazile, Matthew dowd. We're here in Iowa. This senate race, Bruce Braley, Joni Ernst, the motorcycle driving republican who likes to spend time in the firing range. This could actually be the race that determines control of the senate. If you take a look at the 10 or 12 key races in this election and you go down the list, this is the race to me that's the tipping point race. Tell me which race -- if you ask me what race on election night will determine who takes the senate, whether democrats keep it or republicans take it, Iowa is it, and if the republicans take Iowa, they're taking the senate back. I think congressman Braley is a strong candidate with a very inspiring story. Look, he got off to a very slow start. But he has big shoes to fill in Tom Harkin's -- being Tom Harkin's replacement. I think this race will come down to the women's vote, and if he's able to capture the women's vote and get a real good turnout, I think there's a narrow path of victory for this. This may have had the gaffe of the cycle when Bruce Braley the democrat was speaking about the other senator from Iowa, chuck grassley, and dismissed him as just a farmer without a law degree. That piece of tape, hidden camera tape just like the 47% tape, I mean is that the most important piece of tape of this cycle potentially? It's obviously very problematic in Iowa to insult somebody for being a farmer. You combine that with what donna was talking about, there is a big wave the democrats have of trying to figure out how to blunt in some ways. They know they'll lose senate and they know they're going to lose house seats but how many can they prevent from losing? Those do not help them. She hasn't helped herself by closely associating herself with Sara Palin. That was good in the republican primary, but in the general election in a state like this, that might not work to her hang. Tom Harkin told me he expects to see a lot more of the Clintons than Obamas on the campaign trial. You have Michelle Obama coming to Iowa. What kind of a factor is bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, what kind of factor are they going to be out there? Think about the key states that the democrats need in order to retain control of the senate. Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, they not only speak the language, they understand the lingo. I mean, people -- the candidates right now are requesting the Clintons because they are popular in those states, so it's very important that the Clintons campaign in those states, but, look, president Obama will also be out there to mobilize the base voters as well as get out some of those young voters that turned out for him two years ago. We won't see president Obama in these key senate races. No, almost again like George W. Bush. You didn't see George W. Bush in any races in 2006 and didn't saw him in the 2008 presidential race. You saw George hoercher walker bush than president bush.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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