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A Campaign Controversy Over … Taylor Swift?

Control of Congress at stake as voters head to polls 2:50

America, this is your midterm election.

A United States senator is apologizing today for remarks comparing a candidate running to replace him to songstress Taylor Swift.

Here’s what happened: Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, who is retiring from his Senate seat, had some not-so-PC comments to make about Joni Ernst, one of the Republicans vying for his seat.

As Buzzfeed first reported, Harkin suggested at an event last week that voters shouldn’t pick Ernst simply because she’s “really attractive” and “sounds nice.”

“I got to thinking about that,” he added. “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.”

The comment drew ire from Republicans, who highlighted the comments’ disconnect from Democrats’ efforts to paint the GOP as a party incapable of inoffensive political overtures to female voters. Ernst herself said in an appearance on FOX News that she was “greatly offended” by the remark.

Ernst also took to Twitter for a tongue-in-cheek welcome Swift to the state for her just-announced tour dates in Iowa.

Harkin, who is 74, apologized Monday, saying “I shouldn’t have said those things, I know that. I regret any time someone feels offended by what I have said, but I am only human and I can make mistakes sometimes in how I say something,” he said. “In fact, I have complimented her on running a very good campaign.”

Of course, with Election Day coming with tomorrow’s sunrise, both sides will just have to – in Swift’s words – Shake It Off.

- Carrie Dann