Massachusetts voters are getting a chance to size up Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in a live televised debate.
The Thursday match-up is the first of four planned debates.
The WBZ-TV debate could help voters begin to sort through a flurry of claims and counterclaims that the two candidates have hurled at each other in television ads and press releases.
Brown has tried to frame Warren as an out-of-touch academic who's determined to raise taxes and undermine free enterprise.
Warren has portrayed Brown as a friend of Wall Street and big business, and as an unreliable vote on women's issues.
The race, the most expensive political contest in Massachusetts history, is seen as key by both national parties as they wrestle for control of the Senate.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press