NPR Political Editor Ken Rudin has posted his list of the top ten Senate primaries, and both sides of Kentucky’s race made the cut.

(3) KENTUCKY REPUBLICAN (May 18): Republican fears about holding this seat seemed to go away last July, when embattled (and cantankerous) GOP Sen. Jim Bunningannounced his retirement. Bunning, narrowly re-elected to a second term in 2004, had trouble with fundraising, and his relationship with fellow Bluegrass State Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and many in his party was awful. With Bunning out, the GOP establishment then came up with Trey Grayson, the secretary of state, and party leaders breathed a sigh of relief. But Grayson has found himself in an increasingly tough battle withRand Paul, an opthalmologist and son of Texas congressman Ron Paul who has benefited by the passion of Tea Party backers. He has also emulated his father’s ability to raise a ton of money on-line. Rand Paul has also become a national conservative cause celebre, with Sarah Palin, among others, making a much ballyhooed endorsement. Grayson is also a committed conservative and has been no slouch in the fundraising department. But if the primary is going to be determined by passion, Paul might have an edge. Some Republicans insist that Grayson would have the better shot in November of holding the seat for the GOP. But it is premature to gauge how strong Paul would or would not be in the general election be should he win the primary.


(8) KENTUCKY DEMOCRATIC (May 18): The GOP battle in the race to succeed retiring Republican Jim Bunning has gotten most of the ink, but there is also a lot at stake on the Democratic side. Both state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov.Dan Mongiardo got in the race when it looked like Bunning would still run. And because Bunning was seen as so vulnerable, Conway and Mongiardo pulled out all the stops and took off the gloves, knocking each other silly, knowing that whoever won the primary had a good shot at victory in November. Lately, however, they have been working on revving up their supporters rather than tearing down each other. Mongiardo, having run statewide twice — for LG and against Bunning six years ago — leads in the polls, but Conway has more money and sources in Kentucky say he would be the stronger candidate in November.