After a holiday respite, the presidential candidate , the first of five forums in four states over the next six days.
The coming days will be for political junkies what New Year's weekend is for college football fans.
With all the campaigns beginning a month of intensive campaigning around the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Vice President Gore and former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley will meet tonight at the University of New Hampshire.
On Thursday night, the six Republican candidates will debate in New Hampshire and will take their road show to South Carolina for a debate on Friday night. Gore and Bradley will shift to Iowa for a Saturday afternoon debate, and then on Monday, the Republicans will pick up where they left off, this time in Michigan.
Tonight's debate will begin a 7 p.m. EST and run for 60 minutes. The debate will be shown nationally on MSNBC and C-SPAN and will be available on the Internet through ABCNews.com. ABC anchor Peter Jennings will moderate tonight's debate, which will include a panel of journalists asking questions.
Although Bradley and Gore debated twice in mid-December, their advisers regard this week's debates as potentially more crucial because, they say, more voters are beginning to pay attention to the campaign.
In their last debate on "Meet the Press", Gore challenged Bradley to agree to stop all radio and television advertising as a way to elevate the political dialogue and reduce the influence of money in campaigns. Bradley dismissed the proposal as a campaign gimmick.
Aides to the vice president said they doubted he would come to tonight's debate with any similar surprise proposals, but indicated he plans to focus even more intently on the issue of who has the experience to be president.
Bradley's advisers say their candidate plans to continue to resist what Bradley calls "the old politics" of attacks. "I think the people want something to vote for, not against," Bradley said Tuesday night during an interview on CNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.