Will Immigration Delay Impact Midterms?

The 'This Week' powerhouse roundtable with predictions for the coming midterm elections and the consequences of Washington's inaction on immigration reform.
6:35 | 09/07/14

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Transcript for Will Immigration Delay Impact Midterms?
To "The roundtable." One piece of uncertainty off the table. The president taking executive immigration action off the table, Jon Karl, until after the election. He really had no choice, by yesterday. No. You had several of the top-tiered democratic candidates saying please don't do it. You have your democrats that you're trying get elected saying please don't do it, it doesn't leave him much choice. This is a sign of increasing pessimism at the white house about their options in the fall. They're increasingly concerned that the republicans take over the senate. They don't want to see the story line say they lost the senate because the president acted on immigration reform. They think that would do great damage to the cause. Donna, if the democrats lose any way, will it be harder for the president to take the action on immigration reform? I think in the best of all worlds, the president would have enjoyed signing the senate bill had the house republicans acted. That didn't happen. I understand the frustration, the anger. The best hope is that the president will use his executive pen in November. I understand the timing is awful. I think they should have made the decision a couple of weeks ago when everything else seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket. I hope the activists understand that the president will act. Jon talked about the pessimism among democrats and at the white house. We're not seeing a wave develop. It's still a little bit early for that. The wave sometimes manifests itself later on. Right now, a stable election. I think republicans will win the senate. Probably. At 2 to 1 odds. I agree with Nate on this. There are just enough red states where it look like they're even or ahead of democratic incumbe incumben incumbents. I am not sure the president's action on immigration helps them. Every republican can say if you want to stop the president doing something, it's arguably illegal and bad public policy, giving amnesty to 4 or 5 million people, you need to make sure you elect a republican senate to overturn this order. I'm not sure that helps democrats very much. Do you agree? Good point. We're so used to wave elections now. We don't know what a stable election looks like. I think on immigration, it's a very frustrating place for him to be. You have republicans that won't pass a bill. And basically his own democrats -- is he supposed to sit around and watch a "Simpsons" marathon all day? There's no way to govern. I thing what is keeping a lot of these democrats afloat right now in states where we would have seen a wave, is actually the brand name. The legacy names you see in a lot of these states. Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, Georgia. You're seeing democrats whose brands owe more to who their parents were, who their families are, than to the national party. It's enabling them, at least to this point, to withstand a wave. Is that family name enough if the president is sticking at around 40% approval rating in the polls? And some of the candidates are having trouble of their own. Mary landrieu has had a terrible series of the latest, the dustup of whether or not she's actually a resident of Louisiana. Of course she is. A judge threw it out. But the bottom line, a week of headlines highlights she spends most of her time, her business addresses are Washington, D.C. A lot of candidates are having problems of their own. In addition to the president. That's your state. That's my state. I think she'll win. It will be a tough fight. We'll spend Thanksgiving in Louisiana. Not a bad place to eat seafood gumbo. But look. The republicans had a chance to take autoof these senate democrats out early in the process. Close races. They haven't taken them off the map. They haven't been able to expand the map to Oregon, Virginia, Minnesota, as they said they would do this summer. Democrats have chance in Kentucky and Georgia. And who knows? Kansas. This is a ripple election. Not a tidal wave. Hold your seats. I think the democrats will retain control. How much do you believe what you just said? Yeah. Unlike most of you -- I travel -- I was in Denver last week. I was in Georgia two weeks ago. I've been home eight times to Louisiana. We in Washington, D.C., we get into all this bubble. But the truth is, guys, I was there in 1990, I understand the six-year itch. This is making sure we can mobilize democratic voters. If we get them out, we win back the senate. In 2006, republicans looked like they would hold senate seats in Virginia, Montana, elsewhere. They lost them. These things will break later in September. They could break later in September. The democrats have done a good job tactically. Harry Reid's superpac has been most effective. Trying to clobber the republican candidates on medicare and social security. The traditional democratic attacks. They have some effect in times of economic insecurity. I think these republicans who have withstood the attacks are still even. I think the last six, seven weeks tend to go in a republican direction. I think you have to bet on that more than you would bet against it. I guess my other big question, Matt, how much difference is it going to make if the senate switches control by a one or two-seat margin? It makes a difference for how you frame up 2016. Whether it's a full republican majority. Both houses in Washington bottling up -- democrats will say bottling up the agenda or whether cow have a divided, paralyzed government. Are they going to, if democrats retain control of the senate, they're going to continue to pass nothing. If republicans take control, whatever they manage to pass, the president is likely to veto. Yeah, well look, republicans, not the get too far ahead of ourselves here, but the 2016 cycle includes a lot of republicans that won in blue states. They're going to have to be running preparing for that. Looking ahead to a presidential election. I think if the republicans win the senate, they have the house. They're going to need to prove they can actually do something. At least in the first few months of the new congress. That means pass something that can actually be signed by the president. Maybe it's something in taxes. There's a bunch of pieces of legislation they can get democratic votes for that I think they will pass in the first month or two. I'm not sure the narrative -- I'm not sure the republicans can't fight back against that. They're going to have to prove they can. If you're a democratic nominee, would you rather run against an entire republican congress? Yes. Good question. That's all we have time for today. Coming up, we have teamed up

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

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