The battle for control of the Senate was fought in Nevada on Friday night, as the Republican challenger’s lead narrowed to just 826 votes — and more votes are expected to arrive at counting centers on Saturday.
Under Nevada law, votes stamped on Election Day — Tuesday — can still be counted if they arrive four days later, on Saturday.
With 94 percent of the vote counted in Nevada, Adam Laxalt, a former co-chair of Donald Trump’s Nevada campaign, had 48.5 percent of the vote.
His rival, the incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto, had 48.4 percent — a difference of 826 votes.
Despite public confidence, the former Nevada attorney general’s campaign is “bracing for a loss,” a person currently advising the campaign and familiar with internal deliberations told DailyMail.com.
“There’s an internal discussion going on at this point about whether or not to call for a statewide recount,” the person said.
‘And of course that includes fundraising. So they are identifying fundraisers.”
Most of the outstanding votes to count are in Nevada in Clark County – the largest and most populous county; at home in Las Vegas; and generally seen as a democratically oriented area.
The votes are still pouring in. And an estimated 165,000 votes still have to be counted.
Officials have until Nov. 17 to complete the count and file a report with the Nevada Secretary of State, according to state law.
GOP challenger Adam Laxalt (left) is fractionally ahead of Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (right) in the Nevada Senate race. If she wins, the Democrats will retain control of the Senate
Only two Senate seats remain to be decided – Nevada and Georgia
On Friday morning, three more states had to declare their Senate race: that had been reduced to two by the end of Friday, after Arizona was won by the Democrats.
Mark Kelly’s victory in Arizona means control of the Senate hinges on Nevada and Georgia.
If Nevada is won by the Democrats, they will control the Senate because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a casting vote in a 50:50 Senate.
If Nevada is won by the Republicans, they will also have to win Georgia to control the Senate.
Georgia’s result will be determined after a second vote on December 6.
Nevada has no second-class votes.
Laxalt’s team was not optimistic, the source told DailyMail.com.
“The mood isn’t great” within the campaign, they added, and staff are looking for someone to blame.
“I’ll say this internally, the knives are out,” the person said.
The biggest disagreement within Laxalt’s campaign is reportedly the same one playing out in the wider GOP narrative across the country — between established factions led by the likes of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump.
Election workers process ballots at Clark County Election Department on Thursday
Ballots will be processed in North Las Vegas on Thursday
Laxalt denied Friday night that he was considering demanding a recount and that his team was depressed.
“This is totally and completely untrue,” he tweeted.
“Absolutely nothing has changed since our Tucker interview or my tweet last night. We await the results tonight and expect her percentages to remain below the level she needs. We still have confidence.’
The Republican campaign posted on Twitter on Thursday that “we are very confident” with his narrow lead as votes from blue-leaning Clark County are still being counted.
But text messages obtained by DailyMail.com suggest a bleak outlook.
The messages are from a Laxalt campaign employee and sent to someone associated with the campaign.
They have not yet been verified.
Clark and Washoe [counties] mail in votes will overwhelm [the Laxalt campaign’s] small lead,” read one message.
“They thought there were far fewer votes left.”
Another message read: “Trump World wants them to report fraud before they ‘keep finding voices’.”
The DailyMail.com source also claimed that “McConnell people” were trying to keep Laxalt away from doubts about the vote count in Clark County.
Messages from campaign staff to an adviser obtained by DailyMail.com show Laxalt staff are concerned about what the final wave of votes will bring
The Nevada Senate race has become one of the most watched in the country as the odds of it deciding which side will control the chamber increase by the day.
Laxalt had previously expressed doubts about Nevada’s electoral count when Trump lost the presidential race in 2020.
“Now some of the team want him to do that,” said the DailyMail.com source.
“Others don’t want him going down that road . . . they’d rather admit he gives in than ask questions about Clark County.”
They added: “That’s not a winning team for me.”
In Arizona, meanwhile, the Democrats were celebrating.
Kelly, a former NASA astronaut whose former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and survived, defeated Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters.
With 83 percent of the vote counted, he led Masters, a MAGA candidate endorsed by Trump, by 5.7 percentage points.
“Thank you, Arizona,” Kelly tweeted Friday night.
Mark Kelly has been re-elected to the Senate, representing Arizona. His win means Democrats are just one victory away — Nevada or Georgia — from controlling the Senate for the rest of Joe Biden’s term
Kelly defeated Trump-backed Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters
The Arizona race is one of the few contests the Republicans have targeted in their bid to take control of the 50-50 Senate.
It was a test of the breakthrough Kelly and other Democrats have made in a state once reliably dominated by the GOP.
Kelly’s win suggests Democratic Success in Arizona was not an aberration during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Other Arizona games, including the closely watched race for governor between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake, were too early to call Friday night.
Kelly, who has flown into space four times, is married to Giffords, who inspired the nation with her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head in a 2011 assassination attempt that killed six people and injured 13.
Kelly and Giffords continued with co-founder of a gun safety advocacy group.
Kelly and Giffords can be seen on Election Day in Tucson, Arizona. On Friday, he won his hard-fought reelection battle
Kelly’s victory in a 2020 special election — spurred on by the death of Republican Senator John McCain — gave Democrats both Arizona Senate seats for the first time in 70 years.
The shift was driven by the state’s rapidly changing demographics and Trump’s unpopularity.
President Joe Biden said on his way to Asia that he is not giving up hope that Democrats will cling to the Senate and even the House.
If Republicans take control of the House, they have threatened investigations against him and his family.
He sounded an optimistic note to reporters as he left for a six-day trip to Egypt, Cambodia and Bali.
‘It’s still alive. It’s still alive. But it’s like drawing a straight line,” he said of the House games.
He also took a small shot at House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is on track to speak if the Republicans prevail.
Biden spoke to McCarthy on Wednesday night.
“I said, if you win the majority, congratulations. But congratulations so far, you’ve made some profit,” he said.