LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Silver State is shining in the national spotlight as Nevada's six electoral college votes could propel former Vice President Joe Biden to the presidency.
"Why are we so important? Why are the eyes of the nation watching us? Because we are the kingmaker at the moment," said Dr. Robert Lang, professor of Urban Affairs at UNLV.
Dr. Lang says the political picture and Nevada's slow pace of counting votes have positioned the state as the critical tipping point for the presidency.
As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Biden was leading President Donald Trump by approximately 8,000 votes.
"In 2000, Tim Russert famously said Florida, Florida, Florida. And right now it's Nevada, Nevada, Nevada," said Lang, in reference to the infamous 2000 election debacle which placed an enormous focus on election results in that state.
Nevada's diverse population splits the number of Republicans and Democrats in nearly the middle with a sizable 'non-partisan' population.
"We remain a contested state, the reason is we have a rural part of the state that counterbalances the metropolitan Las Vegas," explained Lang.
Election officials are preaching patience while workers process an undisclosed number of remaining mail-in ballots and a series of special ballots.
"What we have left now is to process provisional ballots, electronic ballots that were sent to overseas voters, electronic ballots for disabled voters and also some special ballots for new residents," said Clark County Registrar of Voters, Joe Gloria, at a news conference Wednesday.
Lang says the intense national attention may position Nevada at an even higher profile.
"What this might do in the long run is to secure our position as a really pivotal state. It might benefit us in terms of federal investment, which was going to a place like Colorado in the past when it was a swing state," explained Lang.
Clark County and Nevada election authorities plan to release new election numbers at 9 a.m. Vegas time.
Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria also plans to hold a daily news conference at 10 a.m. to answer questions as vote tabulations are completed.
Check live statewide election results for Nevada here.