Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch are set to face off in their first debate.
Branstad and Hatch are scheduled to meet Thursday at the Iowa State Fair. This will be the first of three debates in the race.
Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth nonconsecutive term and has been touting a record of job creation and tax cuts. Hatch, a longtime state lawmaker, says he could do more to boost incomes and improve services, such as education and health care.
Thus far, Branstad has looked stronger in the race. He remains popular in the polls and had more than $4 million in his campaign account in mid-July. Hatch had less than $200,000 at that time and had lent personal funds to the campaign.