Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold are preparing for the first of two televised debates in their tightening race.

The face-off Friday comes 25 days before the election.

When they first shared a debate stage six years ago, Feingold came in as the more experienced, polished politician and Johnson the underdog newcomer. This year, Johnson enters the debate as the incumbent but still the apparent underdog.

Johnson has never led in Marquette University Law School polls over the duration of the campaign. But in the latest one released Wednesday, the race was about even.

Friday's debate is in Green Bay and sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. It will air live on WISC-TV.

The second and final debate is scheduled for Tuesday in Milwaukee.