A recent PPIC poll shows Hillary Clinton with a two per cent lead over Bernie Sanders. (File Photo)
As the US presidential election draws closer, political commentators have begun to speculate upon likely scenarios with the passage of each day -- and the newest theory is very interesting.
A recent comment by political analyst Douglas E Schoen, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says there was now more than a theoretical chance that Hillary Clinton may not be the Democratic nominee for the US presidential elections.
The inevitability behind Ms Clinton's nomination will be in large measure eviscerated if she loses the June 7 California primary to Bernie Sanders. That could well happen, he writes.
A recent PPIC poll shows Ms Clinton with a two per cent lead over Mr Sanders, and a Fox News survey found the same result.
Even a narrow win would give Mr Sanders 250 pledged delegates or more -- a significant boost.
California is clearly trending to Mr Sanders, data from mid-May show that there were nearly 1.5 million newly registered Democratic voters in California since January 1. That's a 218 per cent increase in Democratic voter registrations compared with the same period in 2012, a strongly encouraging sign for Mr Sanders, the commentator figured out.
A Sanders win in California would powerfully underscore Ms Clinton's weakness as a candidate in the general election.
Democratic superdelegates -- chosen by the party establishment and overwhelmingly backing Ms Clinton 543-44 -- would seriously question whether they should continue to stand behind her candidacy, he asked.
In recent weeks, the perception that Ms Clinton would be the strongest candidate against Donald Trump has evaporated. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Ms Clinton in a statistical tie with Mr Trump, and recent surveys from ABC News/Washington Post and Fox News show her two and three points behind him, respectively.
Ms Clinton also faces growing legal problems. The State Department Inspector General's recent report on Ms Clinton's use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State made it abundantly clear that she broke rules and has been far from forthright in her public statements.
The damning findings buttressed concerns within the party that Ms Clinton and her aides may not get through the government's investigation without a finding of culpability somewhere.
There are increasing rumblings within the party about how a new candidate could emerge at the convention. John Kerry, the 2004 nominee, is one possibility. But the most likely scenario is that Vice President Joe Biden -- who has said that he regrets "every day" his decision not to run --enters the race, the comment reads.
While questioning President Barack Obama, the writer adds that so far he has largely stayed out of the campaign, other than to say that he does not believe Ms Clinton compromised national security with her home-brew email server.