(CNN) – Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal step into the political ring Monday night for their first face-to-face showdown in the fight for the Senate seat long held by Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd.
McMahon, the former chief executive of pro-wrestling's World Wrestling Entertainment and the GOP Senate nominee, and Blumenthal, Connecticut's longtime Democratic attorney general, will share the same stage in Hartford for their first debate.
The debate comes as recent polling indicates the race is now a dead heat.
A Quinnipiac University survey released last week showed McMahon trailing Blumenthal 49 to 46 percent among likely voters, with four percent undecided. Blumenthal's three-point advantage was within the poll's sampling error, and down from a six-point margin in a Quinnipiac survey conducted earlier in September.
Nine percent who named a candidate said they may change their minds by the November election. According to the poll, McMahon held a five-point advantage among independent voters, a switch from two weeks ago when independents were split between the two candidates.
The issue of minimum wage may come up in the debate. Last week, Democrats attacked McMahon for remarks she made in a give and take with reporters that have been interpreted as meaning she would be in favor of possibly lowering the minimum wage and that she didn't know that the current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour in Connecticut.
McMahon's campaign hit back, arguing that reporters had misinterpreted her answers.
Dodd, who was first elected to the Senate in 1980, announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term in office.
–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn