MADISON, Wis. -

U.S. Senate hopefuls Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson are getting ready to spar at their first debate.

The candidates are scheduled to meet at WMVS-TV's studios in Milwaukee on Friday evening. The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation is sponsoring the event.

Baldwin, a Democrat, and Thompson, a Republican, will make statements and field questions from journalists.

Thompson is fighting to recover after polls last week showed the race was a dead heat or Baldwin in the lead. The former Wisconsin governor acknowledged his campaign was broke after the GOP primary in August. Karl Rove's political action committee is pouring another $1.2 million into ads attacking Baldwin.

The candidates are scheduled to appear at two more debates ahead of the Nov. 6 election. All the debates will be broadcast statewide.