LAS VEGAS (NewsNation) — While the majority of Nevada voters live in Las Vegas and Clark County, areas that historically vote blue, any winning race on the stateside will likely require a nod from Reno and Washoe County to the north.
Cortez Masto, the incumbent, is facing a healthy challenge from Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Laxalt hails from Washoe County, which is home to Nevada’s second-largest pot of votes — after Clark County.
Cortez Masto and Laxalt have been neck and neck in the polls for weeks.
“If those are running relatively even in Clark and the red spread is what everyone expects it to be, probably no big surprise except how big the spread might be, then Washoe comes into clear focus. And whoever can win Washoe has tradition on their side,” said Greg Ferraro of the public relations firm The Ferraro Group.
Political observers can only be certain of political uncertainty in Nevada, but some expect the silver state to be part of a predicted red wave this week.
“Currently, the fundamentals are kind of against Democrats right now, with the economy, inflation … housing affordability also a big issue,” said market researcher Mike Noble.
Nevada Republicans have pushed hard to link Cortez Masto to President Joe Biden, whose low national approval is even lower than average in Nevada.
More than half of Nevada voters have already cast their ballots by mail or voted early, but long lines are still expected during Election Day.