Conversations in which Democrat Hillary Clinton is advanced as the odds-on favorite to win the US presidency usually contain an explicit or implicit "but". Yes, Mrs Clinton has built-in advantages in electoral math and organization and Donald Trump's controversial views and propensity for wandering woefully off-message are political liabilities - but what if there were a headline-grabbing Islamic militant attack on US soil before November's election? Would that significantly alter the state of the presidential race?
We may be about to find out:
Mr Trump was quick to take to Twitter after news spread that the assailant in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was a child of Afghan immigrants and had apparently "pledged allegiance" to so-called Islamic State.
Like many Trump tweets, it instantly provoked both praise from his supporters and outrage from others including gay rights activist George Takei.
Following Barack Obama's short speech in which the president called the Orlando attack an "act of terror and an act of hate" and said it was "a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people", Mr Trump doubled-down on the rhetoric that has fuelled his rise to the Republican nomination.
He called for Mr Obama's resignation for his "refusal to even say the words 'radical Islam'".
"If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore," he wrote. "Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen - and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore."
Left to the imagination is what, exactly, that means. Should the children of second-generation Muslim immigrants - like the alleged assailant, Omar Mateen - receive special screening? Trump critics will surely assume the worst. His allies will imagine the greatest.
Mr Trump went on to assert that Mrs Clinton - who supports resettling 65,000 Syrian refugees in the US - wants to "dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East" and that the US has "no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing".