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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 3rd, 2014
06:04 PM ET

Panel: Does likeability matter in a candidate?

(CNN) – Sen. Tom Harkin awkwardly tried to make the case for Iowa's Democratic candidate Bruce Braley over the weekend, by comparing Republican candidate Joni Ernst to a pop star.

"I don't care if she's as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers, but if she votes like Michele Bachmann, she's wrong for the state of Iowa," he said, according to footage obtained by Buzzfeed News.

Ernst wasn't fit to be Iowa's senator, Harkin argued, just because she's "really attractive and she sounds nice."

Ernst fired back Monday, calling the remarks offensive.

What Harkin appeared to be trying to express was his frustration with the fact that Ernst is a lot more Braley, and that it is having a huge impact on that race.

So does likeability matter in a candidate?

The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter, and CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Kevin Madden discuss.

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