The reported number of outstanding votes to be counted in Nevada varies by site and is rising. Election math is thus a moving target.

Yesterday, I put together spreadsheets in an attempt to figure out what percentage of the remaining votes Catherine Cortez Masto would need to get to overcome Republicans Adam Laxalt's current lead in the Nevada Senate race.

My idea would have been sound if I had accurate counts of remaining votes. But there are two problems.

  • Estimated numbers of uncounted votes vary widely.

  • The number of remaining votes is a guaranteed moving target.

A Tweet Thread by Sean Golonka explains. 

  • With about 887k votes counted statewide so far, Republican candidates at the very top of the ticket are leading, but there are results from more than 110k mail ballots still to be reported.

  • In the Senate race, Laxalt (R) leads Cortez Masto (D) by 15.8k votes. In the governor’s race, Lombardo (R) leads Sisolak (D) by 34.1k votes. 

  • The two most populous counties, Clark (where Las Vegas is) and Washoe (where Reno is), are both still processing and counting a large volume of mail ballots, including ballots left in Election Day drop boxes and mail ballots that continue to be delivered from the postal services.

  • The latest numbers for mail ballots that we are still waiting on vote tallies from are about: - 70k mail ballots outstanding in Clark - 40k mail ballots outstanding in Washoe

  • Those 110k mail numbers do not include all of the mail ballots postmarked by Election Day that can and will continue arrive through Saturday.

  • I’ll keep reminding you all of this because state law allows mail ballots received by four days after Election Day to be counted, and in tight races, those can really matter.

  • Here are a few other key factors for potentially very narrow races: # of provision ballots,  # of spoiled ballots,  # of ballots that need signature curing (cure deadline is Monday, Nov. 14)

  • As we await more results, it is worth noting that the latest mail batches have swung heavily in Dems’ favor. - Yesterday, in a batch of 20k mail ballots reported in Washoe, CCM won 61% to Laxalt’s 36% - In a batch of 14k ballots reported in Clark, CCM won 65% to Laxalt’s 30%

  • I’ll hopefully have additional details later this morning on what results look like in other statewide Nevada races, but for today, I’ll be looking out for next mail ballot counts reported in Clark and Washoe, and whether election officials in either county have announcements.

Arguing for Laxalt


Although that matches my initial assessment, I'm not here to tell you what you want to hear. I'm here to tell you what I think. 

I've changed my mind. 

We have no idea how many more votes there are left to count. It's a moving target, negating any percentage math. 

A similar setup exists in Arizona. People keep asking me why those states are still counting. There's your answer. 

It's certain Trump will be all over this with more allegations of stolen election. 

Stop the steal

Kari Lake, running for Arizona Governor is in a similar setup. She is one of the  great MAGA supporters screaming Stop the Steal. 

As her Democratic opponent held a slight lead Tuesday night with votes still being tabulated and no media outlets calling the race in either direction, Lake was undeterred when she spoke on stage to supporters, declaring, “We are going to continue to monitor the ballots.… When we win, the first line of action is to restore honesty to Arizona elections.” After so ably channeling Trump, better than any other candidate in 2022, Lake has ended up as the last MAGA standing.

It didn’t take long on the morning of Election Day for Lake supporters to fall back on the Stop the Steal narrative. Arizona was ripe for this: Throughout her gubernatorial campaign, Lake clung to conspiracy theories about a stolen election in 2020 and would not commit to accepting the results in her own election. (As of early Wednesday afternoon, with about a third of votes left to be counted, Lake and her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, the current Arizona secretary of state, are separated by a narrow margin in Hobbs’s favor.) With Lake turning back to raising unfounded fears of fraud Tuesday, the Stop the Steal set even got to return to its initial backdrop, Maricopa County, where Trump supporters had rallied in November 2020, calling his loss a fraud and setting in motion weeks of chaos stretching all the way to Congress.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Lake responded to problems with some vote tabulators in Maricopa County by telling voters not to go to a different location instead, saying if they did their ballot “likely will not count,” which reporters debunked as misinformation that would possibly disenfranchise her own voters. Nevertheless, her post was retweeted more than 10,000 times by the time she spoke to reporters after casting her own vote in Maricopa County a few hours later. 

Claims about Maricopa County were by then spreading fast, with the Election Integrity Partnership counting over 40,000 posts on Twitter about the tabulation errors, with a pronounced spike after a tweet from Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. Kirk had claimed that “Democrats running elections here knew this would happen. Traffic jam by design. DONT LET THEM DO 2020 AGAIN.” This was further spread on Telegram by Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, among others. Trump himself piled on: “Can’t let this happen, AGAIN!!!” 

Along with Laxalt in Nevada, Lake is another hand-picked Trump-backed candidate that seems poised to go up in flames. 

Nothing is decided yet, but the math is very challenging for the Republicans in both states. 

What Republicans can and cannot do

Republicans cannot change election laws. They can bitch and moan and scream stop the steal like maniacs. 

The results of bitching and moaning and screaming stop the steal are in. 

Voters are sick of it. Trump's hand-pick candidates are  about to lose almost every key race.

Biggest loser of the night Donald Trump, biggest winner Ron DeSantis

At 1:00 AM on Wednesday, November 9, I penned Biggest Loser of the Night Donald Trump, Biggest Winner Ron DeSantis

Trump-backed candidates went down in Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Hampshire and trail in Georgia.

It's uncertain but likely we can add the Nevada Senate race and the Arizona governor's race to that mix.

The Wall Street Journal came to a similar conclusion in a series of articles but my post was out first.

  • Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.

  • The GOP’s Midterm Failure.

  • With No Red Wave, Trump Is Out at Sea.

  • The Trump Liability for the GOP.

I received little pushback for my post. But months ago, when I wrote about this well in advance. 

The TDS accusing crowd was all over me.

Flashback August 8, 2022

Please recall my August 8 post Will Trump Cost Republicans the Senate Once Again?

If my take is accurate, Republicans need to win both Georgia and Nevada to retake the Senate. That's not impossible, but it's difficult. 


I should have stuck with that forecast throughout. But towards the end, polls skewed towards Republicans and I thought they would win. 

Trump flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022

How much more of this can Republicans take? Here are some key points from the first WSJ link. 

This is a free link: Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.

  • In New Hampshire, the Trump-endorsed Republican Don Bolduc lost to Sen. Maggie Hassan, 53% to 45%, as of the latest data. At the same time voters re-elected Republican Gov. Chris Sununu by 16 points.

  • In Arizona the Trump-endorsed Republican Blake Masters trails Sen. Mark Kelly, 51% to 47%. This is a state successful Gov. Doug Ducey won by 14 points in 2018. Mr. Ducey could have won the Senate seat, but Mr. Trump pledged to go to war with him because Mr. Ducey refused to entertain 2020 fraud theories.

  • In Pennsylvania, the Trump-endorsed Republican Mehmet Oz lost to John Fetterman, 51% to 47%. This is a tough state for the GOP. But Mr. Fetterman was a weak candidate: He’s a lefty with a record of wanting Medicare for All and a ban on fracking, and he’s recovering from a stroke. David McCormick would have been a better Republican nominee, but he wouldn’t say the 2020 election was stolen, so Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Oz.

  • In Georgia, the Trump-endorsed Republican Herschel Walker trails Sen. Raphael Warnock, 49.4% to 48.5%. This is going to a December runoff, which Mr. Walker could win. But Gov. Brian Kemp won re-election by eight points. Mr. Walker’s flaws as a candidate were obvious, but Mr. Trump helped clear the primary field and other candidates opted out.

  • In Ohio the Trump-endorsed Republican J.D. Vance won a solid victory over Rep. Tim Ryan, 53% to 47%, while Republican Gov. Mike DeWine won by 26 points. Mr. Vance was a poor fundraiser. As of Oct. 19 he’d pulled in $12 million to Mr. Ryan’s $47 million. What saved him was $32 million from the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a Super Pac aligned with Mitch McConnell. Mr. Vance trailed in the polls until mid-October.

  • Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania’s Trump-endorsed gubernatorial choice, lost by 14 points. Tim Michels in Wisconsin and Tudor Dixon in Michigan fumbled winnable gubernatorial races. Also in Michigan, Mr. Trump helped John Gibbs beat GOP Rep. Peter Meijer in the primary in the Grand Rapids seat because Mr. Meijer voted to impeach him. Mr. Gibbs lost by 13 points. 

  • Mr. Trump could have stayed quiet in the final weeks of the campaign except to spend money to help his candidates. But he did little of the latter and instead staged rallies that played into Democratic hands. His rally in Latrobe last week might have hurt Mr. Oz with suburban voters who cost Mr. Trump the state in 2020.

Trump's perfect record

Since his unlikely victory in 2016 against the widely disliked Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump has a perfect record of electoral defeat.

“We’re going to win so much,” Mr. Trump once said, “that you’re going to get sick and tired of winning.”

What should Republicans do?

First and foremost, Trump is a loser. Hillary is probably the only person he could have beaten. 

Looking behind is a losing tactic. The party needs to abandon Trump, but smartly. 

The correct way, as shown by Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, is to ignore him or simply respond to reporter questions "It's time to move on."

Second, it's futile to bitch about election rules. Trump told people to vote in person whereas Democrats said vote early.

It's clear which is the winning strategy.

Personally, I think one should have a voter ID and vote in person unless there is a genuine reason (out of town, military, hospitalized, etc.). However, my opinion does not matter at all. 

Nevada and Arizona and other states all have their own rules. One can bitch about those rules or legally attempt to take advantage of them.

Democrats chose to take advantage, Republicans moan about the rules.

The Republican goal should be 99% turnout. I bet it was not close. And voting by mail is the only way it could happen. 

Republicans need to do a far better job of dealing with "what is" instead of bitching about the way they want things to be. 

Trump wants Republicans to vote in person instead of opting to get the maximum number of Republicans voting by mail where rules allow.  

Trump got his wish. 

We will never know the answer to this question but I cannot help wondering: How many rural Republican Nevada voters intended to vote but for one reason or another didn't.

Failure to take advantage of mail-in voting may have cost Republicans close elections in Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. 

Looking ahead 

For now, we can be grateful for the Congressional deadlock. 

But as noted well in advance of this election, it's time to move on. 

Trump is the past. DeSantis or someone unknown is the future.

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This material is based upon information that Sitka Pacific Capital Management considers reliable and endeavors to keep current, Sitka Pacific Capital Management does not assure that this material is accurate, current or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.

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