I suspect I’m not the only person who has been watching the vote totals in Nevada like a hawk all day. Unfortunately they haven’t changed at all. When Ed posted the numbers earlier today they showed 418,461 votes for Adam Laxalt to 395,866 votes for Catherine Masto. That works out to 49.88% to 47.19%.

If you look at the NY Times results as I write this (several hours later) the totals are identical. And if you check NBC News, their results are slightly different. They show Laxalt with 418,945 votes (484 additional votes) and Masto with 396,253 votes (387 additional votes).

But there’s another issue and it’s important. Different sites have different estimates of the percentage of the vote this represents. Decision Desk says it’s 86% of the estimated total but the Times says it’s 77% (again with the exact same totals). NBC is in between, claiming their figures are 80% of the total vote. NBC’s site specifically estimates there are 210,167 votes still outstanding.

CNN published an update a short while ago (as I write this) about the outstanding votes in Nevada’s two biggest counties.

Clark County — County registrar Joe Gloria said that results from an additional 14,718 ballots will be posted tonight. This batch contains ballots that were either into dropboxes on Monday or arrived via USPS on Tuesday. Election officials will also be “curing” mail ballots through Monday. “Curing” is when election officials contact voters to fix mistakes on their ballots, like if information is missing. More than 9,500 voters had issues that needed curing. More than 5,390 of them haven’t “cured” their ballots yet, Gloria said. Mail-in ballots will continue to come in until Saturday, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 8. All in-person ballots that were cast in Clark County on Election Day are already reflected in the publicly released results, Gloria said.

Washoe County — The state’s second most populous county is still sorting through more than 20,000 ballots, Jamie Rodriguez, Washoe County’s interim registrar of voters, said. He said that while he anticipates a small update on where the vote count stands this evening, he stressed that a bigger update in vote totals should be expected tomorrow, after election officials have had a chance to process thousands of additional mail-in ballots that arrived Wednesday.

So it sounds like Clark County will make an update tonight involving another ~15k ballots and then it’s just waiting to see what arrives in the mail between now and Saturday. Whatever does, so long as it was postmarked by Tuesday, will be added to the total. But all of the in person ballots have already been counted.

Washoe County still has 20k ballots to work through which we might see tomorrow morning. I guess they are also going to be waiting on more mail ballots.

What you need to know is that Clark County voted for Masto by +5 while Washoe went for Laxalt by +4. That’s according to this NY Times breakdown by county.

Again, I don’t think the numbers of “% in” are too reliable since three different sites have different totals and since the actual number will probably just depend on what turns up in the mail. But let’s assume those estimates in the list above are accurate. Doing a little math we get 148,603 outstanding votes in Clark county and 72,782 outstanding votes in Washoe. Those are the two big counties.

Let’s also assume the votes continue to come in +5 for Masto in Clark and +4 for Laxalt in Washoe. Of course, that may not be true. Mail in votes may favor Democrats more than in person votes but we’re trying make an educated guess here let’s go with what we’ve got. That works out to 78,016 more votes for Masto in Clark and 34,936 votes in Washoe for a total of 112,952 additional votes for her tally.

Laxalt gets 70,587 extra votes in Clark and 37,846 extra votes in Washoe for total of 108,433 additional votes. (If you combine those you get 221,385 votes in all which isn’t that far off NBC’s estimate that there are 210,167 outstanding votes.)

Finally, if you add the outstanding votes we just calculated to the current totals from Decision Desk (or the Times) you get Laxalt with 526,894 votes and Masto with 508,818. In other words, it looks like Laxalt could hold on if the split in each county runs about the same as it has thus far.

Of course the problem with this is that the advantage could change. Masto could start running +10 in the remaining Clark ballots and according to reporter Jon Ralston her advantage should improve in those final mail in ballots.

In Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt leads by nearly three points with about three-fourths of the vote in. But there, the late-counted mail ballots — particularly in Clark County, home to Las Vegas — are expected to help the Democrat, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston says that if there are 100,000 mail ballots left in Clark County, it could allow Cortez Masto to erase her current 23,000-vote deficit. Cortez Masto leads by just five points in Clark, but mail ballots should break for her by a substantially larger margin.

Even if that’s true, we haven’t accounted for the outstanding vote from any of the other counties on that list above, all of which went for Laxalt. For instance, if there really is about a third of the vote still outstanding in Douglas County and Laxalt continues to run +35 that’s going to add up to several thousand more votes advantage for him. I guess all I’m saying is that after staring at these unchanging numbers all day I think there is a real chance Laxalt could win. That’s not a promise or a prediction, just a rough estimates to show that it seems possible.

If Laxalt does hold on that would put the GOP up to 50 seats in the Senate (with Alaska) and the Georgia runoff would once again determine control of the Senate.

Update: Here’s what Ralston says about the outstanding ballots.

So it sounds like there’s less outstanding vote than estimated. But he also said mail in vote in Washoe favored Dems prior to the election, so maybe Laxalt loses votes there rather than gains them.

At least he’s keeping a sense of humor about it.

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