Hillary Clinton (via Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Could there be a real chance that Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee for president?

Douglas Schoen, who has worked on Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign and reportedly supported Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, thinks so. In an opinion piece published Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal, he argues that there are several reasons Clinton could fail. For one, he starts, her campaign could be “eviscerated” if she loses to Bernie Sanders in California’s Democratic primary on June 7:

A recent PPIC poll shows Mrs. Clinton with a 2% lead over Mr. Sanders, and a Fox News survey found the same result. Even a narrow win would give him 250 pledged delegates or more—a significant boost. California is clearly trending to Mr. Sanders, and the experience in recent open primaries has been that the Vermont senator tends to underperform in pre-election surveys and over-perform on primary and caucus days, thanks to the participation of new registrants and young voters. …

A Sanders win in California would powerfully underscore Mrs. Clinton’s weakness as a candidate in the general election. Democratic superdelegates—chosen by the party establishment and overwhelmingly backing Mrs. Clinton, 543-44—would seriously question whether they should continue to stand behind her candidacy.

He then goes on to say that at the Democratic National Convention, Sanders will most likely introduce a rule change “requiring superdelegates to vote for the candidate who won their state’s primary or caucus.” This too, he argues, would hurt Clinton’s chances.

He also covers the new polling numbers that show Sanders as a stronger competitor against Trump than Clinton, and he brings up the mounting legal issues Clinton faces. He ends by pondering potential new nominations. “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.”

Whether you agree with Schoen or not, this piece succinctly highlights the growing tensions within the Democratic Party. “Only a month or two ago, [Democrats] were relishing the prospect of a chaotic Republican convention, with a floor fight and antiestablishment rebellion in the air,” he writes. “Now the messy, disastrous convention could be their own.”

—Posted by Emma Niles


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