The troubles besetting Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' rise have left the Democratic Party with so few choices that it may well have no other alternative to the former secretary of state, political analyst Charlie Cook said Saturday.
"Having pretty much decided early on to put all of their eggs in the Clinton basket, they are now worried that the basket is flimsy," he wrote in The National Journal.
"In the worst case, the party might turn to a [Vice President Joe] Biden, but don’t expect it."
Clinton's plunging poll numbers over the email scandal have done very little to assuage party fears that she might not win the White House next year, Cook said.
"Although most Democrats still dismiss the substance of the controversy over her State Department emails, even the most starry-eyed must acknowledge it has exposed her candidacy as far more fragile than in their worst nightmares."
Biden remains undecided on a run — and as far as Sanders is concerned, "Has any member of Congress during the past 23 years been less consequential, less effective, and taken less seriously than Sanders?
"Is there any Democratic senator less able to win a nationwide general election?" Cook asked.
Cook does float the name of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — "a name that would petrify Clinton’s headquarters" — and the analyst said he remained "lukewarm" about former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
"There’s little question the Democratic bench of potential contenders is painfully thin," Cook said.
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