(CNN) – CNN projects that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has won that state's Democratic Senate primary.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Conway led Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo 44.3 percent to 42.9 percent.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/17/art.rand.jpg caption="Rand Paul is the choice of Tea Party activists in Kentucky."]Bowling Green, Kentucky (CNN) - A win by Rand Paul in Kentucky's Republican Senate primary on Tuesday, a likely prospect according to most polling, would give the Tea Party movement its biggest triumph of the 2010 election season.
But it will also be a win for Democrats who would prefer to run against Paul - a libertarian-leaning ophthalmologist and son of former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas - instead of the other leading GOP contender and establishment favorite, Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
Democrats are confident that Paul's uncompromising small-government views - he would like to shutter the departments of Education and Agriculture, for example - will alienate moderate voters in a general election contest against the eventual Democratic nominee, either Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo or Attorney General Jack Conway. Their primary is considered too close to call as the race enters its final hours.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/19/art.bunning0519.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits has drawn criticism from candidates looking to replace the Republican in the Senate."](CNN) - Sen. Jim Bunning's decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits has become a political lightning rod among the four major candidates who are seeking to fill the outgoing Kentucky Republican's Senate seat.
Jack Conway and Daniel Mongiardo, the two Democrats vying for their party's nomination to replace Bunning, have condemned Bunning's actions as they seek to resonate with the 120,000 Kentuckians who currently receive unemployment benefits. Conway, the state's attorney general, has called Bunning's block "outrageous" and posted a petition to register disapproval with the move on his Web site.
Mongiardo - the current lieutenant governor - is going one step further, holding rallies Tuesday outside of Bunning's offices in Louisville and Lexington. Kim Geveden, Mongiardo's communications director, told CNN the campaign had invited Conway to attend the rallies, though Conway declined. Conway is currently in Washington, DC for official business, according to a spokeswoman.
It's a different story on the Republican side, where the two candidates battling for the party's Senate nomination are heralding Bunning's move as a prudent act of conservatism. Rand Paul, a doctor and son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul called attacks on Bunning "unfair" and is holding his own rally in support of Bunning in front of the senator's Lexington office at 3 p.m. ET. Trey Grayson, Kentucky's secretary of state, who's battling Paul, has also applauded Bunning's move.
Video of protesters in Louisville, Kentucky after the jump: