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Nevada political analyst Jon Ralston sees 'no path' for Trump to win the state

Nevada mail-in ballots tend to lean Democratic, and they make up a vast chunk of the votes that remain.

There are over 63,000 votes left to be counted in the state of Nevada, and former Vice President Joe Biden leads by a little over 11,000 votes.

That makes it seem like the President has a good chance in the state -- especially since several states where President Trump still holds the lead are still seen as battlegrounds. However, one of Nevada's most prominent political analysts doesn't believe the president has much hope in the state.

Jon Ralston, a longtime political analyst and founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit news site The Nevada Independent, spoke with MSNBC on Thursday morning about the close race.

"We know that most of the votes are in Clark County, which is Las Vegas, which is very heavily democratic," Ralston said. "And we know that these are mail ballots. We usually don't use a lot of mail ballots in Nevada, but there have been hundreds of thousands of mail ballots returned this time because of the pandemic, and because they changed the law to mandate that every voter got a mail ballot."

Nevada mail-in ballots -- particularly those from Clark County -- tend to lean Democratic.

"Before election day, Democrats in Clark County had won those mail ballots by an overwhelming margin - more than two to one. So Democrats are very optimistic," said Ralston.

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Ralston's interview came before the updated election results were released on Thursday. The results followed Ralston's predictions, putting Biden ahead by more than 11,000 in the state.

Seeing that most of the remaining 63,000 votes were from Clark County -- none of which were in-person votes -- Ralston signaled that success for President Trump didn't seem plausible.

However, even with Biden's growing lead, he currently has a narrower lead over Trump than Hillary Clinton had back in 2016. Ralston pinned this on the Coronavirus pandemic's decimation of the state's economy.

"Our economy is based on a few miles of road called the Las Vegas Strip," Ralston said. "When that shut down, that destroyed the economy here in Nevada, cost tens of thousands of people their jobs, caused an unemployment insurance claims nightmare that this state has never seen. So the question for the Republicans, who are trying to win Nevada, which is a democratic state, is to try to substitute the democratic governor Steve Sisolak for Joe Biden on the ballot, and to blame the governor for shutting down the state, for shutting down the economy."

Republicans appear to have had some success with that tactic, Ralston said, since the close results of the race point to Nevadans not blaming the president for the state's hardships.

"It appears, since Joe Biden has not done as well in Clark County -- at least until some of these ballots are counted -- as Hillary Clinton did, that that may have had some impact," Ralston said. "That they may not have blamed the president as much as the Democrats would have wanted, and that's why this race is closer than I and a lot of people thought it might be."