Hillary Clinton could miss out of becoming the Democratic party flag bearer in favour of Bernie Sanders.As the focus shifts to California, where an influx of voter registrations threatens to derail her lead over Bernie Sanders.
Sanders will be hoping on the state to boost his campaign with news of a further 1.5 million people registering to vote since January this year.
The recent statistics from the Institute of California will be encouraging to Mr Sanders as even a margin win in the 7 June California primary, where the candidates are currently virtually deadlocked, could hand him an additional 250 delegates – or more. Mr Sanders currently has 1,501 pledged delegates to Ms Clinton’s 1,769.
The inflow of added registrants – a 218 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2012 – is likely to include large numbers of young voters and could make this scenario a reality.
Recent open primaries have shown 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.
On the condition that Mr Sanders wins in California,Ms Clinton’s candidacy would be seriously called into question in the general election and could result in a number of superdelegates, including distinguished party leaders and elected officials who are free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination, withdrawing their support.
Mr Sanders said although Ms Clinton has received “a whole lot more” superdelegate support than he has to date, “they don’t vote until they’re on the floor of the Democratic convention”. He said that his job was now to convince them of his electability against Donald Trump.
He is regarded as the stronger contender against Mr Trump nationally, with recent surveys putting him ahead by about 10 points.
Mr Trump and Ms Clinton, currently subject to a damning report on misuse of a private email server while she was secretary of state, are possibly the most disliked nominees in decades, while Mr Sanders is the candidate more liked than disliked in favourability ratings.