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Ross, Burr Face Off In First U.S. Senate Debate Tonight

A composite photo of Deborah Ross and Richard Burr
Courtesy of Deborah Ross and Richard Burr campaigns

Incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Burr and challenger Deborah Ross will face off tonight for their only televised debate.Donald Trump and the American Civil Liberties Union are likely to get a lot of talk from the candidates for North Carolina's U.S. Senate seat.

Burr, a Republican, says he still backs Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, despite Trump's recently disclosed crude talk about women. He and his allies have been blasting Ross for her past work at the state chapter of the ACLU.

Ross, a Democrat and former North Carolina House Representative, stepped down from that seat in 2013.  

Burr’s odds looked good when he declared his re-election bid last year -- he had a large war chest and no clear opponent. But Ross has since emerged as a strong contender and polls show the two in a hot race.

Analysts are watching the race closely as it will play a significant role in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate.

ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl will moderate the debate. It begins at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on WUNC and live-streamed on UNC-TV.

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