Today, I’d still bet on Hillary Clinton

At this point, Hillary Clinton’s greatest worry is an unknown civil servant in the Justice Department named Charles McCullough, III who is running the probe into Clinton’s private email server, not Joe Biden.

Why do I say that?

Because Joe Biden, in the latest Quinnipiac poll Biden is running at 18 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 45 percent and Bernie Sanders is at 22 percent. Yes, she’s not leading by as much as she used to be. And yes, if Biden was the Democratic candidate he would beat Trump, Rubio and Bush by more than Clinton (though Clinton still edges them all). And yes yes, Biden’s favorability with Democrats is at 83 percent while Clinton’s is slightly lower at 76 percent. But it’s still at 76 percent.  

All this is not to say that Clinton isn’t weakened – she is. But the vulnerability is more on the left to Bernie Sanders or potentially Elizabeth Warren who is increasingly unlikely to take the plunge than to the current vice president.

Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six national elections and with 17 Republican candidates, and the specter of Donald trump looming above it all, it’s hard to believe that even a weakened Clinton would be unelectable.

Joe Biden’s game is a different one. It’s half a campaign and half a waiting game because his constituency is the same as Clinton’s constituency.

Put another way, his candidacy is a a place for Democrat bundlers and supporters who are less enamored of the Clintons and are looking for a place to hang their hats while they wait to see if Clinton’s campaign implodes.

From my own examination of what Clinton has done and said as well as what State Department officials have said it seems quite clear that whatever rules and regulations may have been violated – though that’s not clear either – there was hardly any criminal intent. Let me be clear, there was certainly intent to promote secrecy and it was ill advised to do what she did. But I think as Judge Michael Mukasey, the former Attorney General, said on "Fox News Sunday," that she has potentially committed a number of felonious acts probably goes too far. Probably, but we aren’t certain.

Which is why Charles McCullough, III is the most important actor in this, not Joe Biden.

The only way that Biden’s candidacy becomes truly viable is if there are more revelations or an indictment of Clinton or one of her top aides, as unlikely as that appears to happen.

As of today, I suspect Clinton will get through this, but that is by no means absolutely certain. If I were a betting man, which I was with Michael Cohen on "Hannity" earlier this week, suggesting that she would almost certainly survive and arguably thrive past December, I am increasingly of the opinion that it is more likely than not that she’ll be the Democratic nominee. And I say this even though Biden apparently has Obama’s blessing.

What do we make of polls that say that Clinton is an increasingly weak general election candidate? To be sure, there are new polls showing her trailing Trump, Bush and Rubio in Michigan and Florida. She only holds a slight edge in Ohio against Republican contenders and Bush and Rubio are beating her in Pennsylvania. Finally, the latest CNN/ORC poll shows her lead substantially narrowed for the general election over the Republican field.

But her support hasn’t completely collapsed and for those that say that elections are about trust -- they certainly are to a large extent -- but not entirely. We know this because if they were entirely about trust then her numbers would be a lot lower then they are.

Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six national elections and with 17 Republican candidates, and the specter of Donald trump looming above it all, it’s hard to believe that even a weakened Clinton would be unelectable.

Her path to the presidency is more challenging than expected. But unelectable? Almost certainly not.

The best bet remains Hillary Clinton -- weakened, facing investigation and offering answers to questions that many Americans don’t find satisfying -- but still favored by many voters.

At the same time she needs to change the conversation..come out fighting on issues, on the differences between herself and the Republicans and most of all why she should be president--a question she has yet to answer.

Still, it follows that if you had to bet, you’d give her the best odds of being president…today.

Douglas E. Schoen has served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton. He has more than 30 years experience as a pollster and political consultant. He is also a Fox News contributor and co-host of "Fox News Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel at 7 pm ET. He is the author of 13 books. His latest is "Putin's Master Plan" (Encounter Books, September 27, 2016). Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.