Democrats are pouring money into the Massachusetts Senate race to succeed John Kerry and dispatching President Barack Obama to the state to rally party loyalists two weeks before Election Day.
Republicans are watching closely to see if the contest tightens enough in the homestretch to justify spending big on TV ads to try to repeat the shocker of 2010 when the GOP unexpectedly seized a seat long in Democratic hands.
The special election set for June 25 has barely been on anyone's radar inside Massachusetts, much less outside the state -- until now.
Both parties are paying close attention in the campaign's final weeks. The uncertainty of off-year special elections and the lessons of Republican Scott Brown's 2010 victory loom large for Republicans and Democrats alike.