Conway wins Dem Senate nomination

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) won by a thin margin and will face Rand Paul (R) in November.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway snagged the Democratic nomination for Senate on Tuesday by a thin margin.

Conway bested Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D) by what appeared to be a scant one percent, sending the attorney general to a fall matchup against physician Rand Paul (R).

44 percent of Bluegrass Democrats chose Conway and 43 percent backed Mongiardo, according to tallies, with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Three other Democrats in the race polled in the single digits.

Roughly 7,000 votes separated the two Democrats, a thin margin which held up the time of the race being called, while Paul was recognized as the GOP nominee much earlier in the evening.

Democrats have hopes that Conway will take over the seat after the outgoing Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) retires at the end of his term next year.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) pointed to increased Democratic inroads in state elections, especially in the most recent reelection races of Bunning and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

"In 2010, this seat will be equally competitive," Menendez wrote in a memo released Tuesday evening. "Republicans nominated a very problematic candidate whose irrational policy positions generate national headlines, but hurt the people of Kentucky."

"Conway was the choice candidate of the campaign strategists at the DSCC — despite the fact that he has only won a single race during his career against an extremely weak opponent," National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said in a memo of his own.

Most political observers expect the race to be a toss-up.