Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. and Republican challenger Sharron Angle will finally face off in a much anticipated debate Thursday after weeks of campaign commercials taking political swipes at each other.
The televised debate, set in Las Vegas, is currently the only scheduled meeting between the two candidates before the Nov. 2 election. Early voting begins Saturday in the Silver State and Angle has said she would not debate after that because she wants an "informed electorate."
Political experts point out that public speaking isn't a strong skill for either Reid or Angle. Any hint of a gaffe or an unrestrained gesture during the hour-long debate could sway the race's outcome.
"Each of them are going to try to minimize their mistakes, but they have to be very careful about style," said Dan Hart, a Las Vegas Democratic consultant. "You don't want to be seen as beating up your opponent."
Angle enjoys a four-point lead in recent polls. The latest Rasmussen Report shows Angle will receive 50 percent of the vote with the Senate majority leader at 46 percent.
It's the widest gap between the candidates in over three months. A week ago, the race was in a virtual tie.
Journalists from around the world are expected to attend the debate, including reporters from Japan, England, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Security will be tight due to a series of brawls and arguments between both candidates' supporters at previous campaign events.