By Nicholas Riccardi and Ken Knight | Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — With U.S. Senate control at stake, Nevada’s lengthy ballot count went into the fourth day on Friday, when election officials tallied thousands of votes before a Saturday deadline to eventually accept incoming mail-ins.
Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was just behind Republican Adam Laxalt, but with the remaining tens of thousands of untold ballots drawn mostly from the state’s urban cores, her campaign expressed optimism that she could overtake her challenger. Laxalt, meanwhile, has consistently predicted he will remain in the lead as the count drags on.
“We’re doing everything we can to get the ballots moving as quickly as possible,” Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, said at a news conference on Friday.
Gloria’s office released tables Friday night of more than 27,000 ballots that put Cortez Masto within a few hundred votes of Laxalt, with an estimated 23,000 more votes yet to be tallied in heavily Democratic Clark County.
Because the Senate is evenly divided, Nevada is one of three undetermined races that will determine which party controls the chamber. If either party wins the state plus the Arizona race, it will have a majority even ahead of a December runoff in Georgia between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. If the Arizona and Nevada seats are split between the parties, control of the Georgia Senate will be decided.
Nevada’s count has taken several days, in part due to the mail-in ballot system introduced by the state legislature in 2020, which requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later. Even after the counts wrap up this weekend, voters have until the end of Monday to “cure” their absentee ballots — or fix office problems — so they can be included in the final count. Gloria said there are 9,600 ballots in the “heal” phase in Clark County, which is home to three-fourths of the state’s population.
A tightly divided swing state, Nevada is one of the most racially diverse in the nation, a working-class state whose residents have been particularly hard hit by inflation and other economic turmoil
According to AP VoteCast, a survey of the state’s 2,100 voters, about three-quarters of Nevada voters said the country is going in the wrong direction, and about 5 in 10 named the economy the most important issue facing the state.
Voters took a negative view of the economy, with nearly 8 out of 10 VoteCast finding that economic conditions were either not so good or bad. Only about 2 out of 10 rated the economy as excellent or good. And about a third of voters said their families are falling behind financially.
But that didn’t necessarily mean anger at President Joe Biden or his party. About half saw inflation as the top concern for the US, but they were evenly split on whether they think higher prices are due to Biden’s policies or factors beyond his control.
Nevada is also a known live-and-let-live state, and Cortez Masto and other Democrats made upholding abortion rights a centerpiece of their campaigns. According to VoteCast, 7 out of 10 wanted the process to remain legal in all or most cases.
Republicans, however, hammered relentlessly at the economic argument, claiming it was time for a leadership change. They also sought to capitalize on ongoing frustrations over pandemic shutdowns that were ravaging Las Vegas’ tourist-centric economy in 2020. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak trailed his challenger, Republican Joe Lombardo, on Thursday, although that race, too, was too early to announce.
On Thursday morning, The Associated Press declared Republican Stavros Anthony the winner of the running for lieutenant governor, while Republican Andy Mathews was elected state controller.
The state’s only Republican congressman, Mark Amodei, easily won re-election in his mostly rural northern Nevada district. The AP has yet to name winners in the state’s three other congressional district seats currently held by Democrats.
Associated Press writer Scott Sonner in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/11/democrat-closes-on-gop-candidate-in-nevada-senate-race/ Democrat shuts out GOP nominee in Nevada Senate race