Hillary Clinton’s backers thought she couldn’t lose. Now, ‘I can’t go there.’

Hillary Clinton’s backers thought she couldn’t lose. Now, ‘I can’t go there.’

[A]s Hillary Clinton lurches toward Election Day, her supporters at times seem overwhelmed by a tsunami of unease, exacerbated by Mrs. Clinton’s bout of pneumonia and a slow-footed acknowledgment of the illness. They are confronting a question they had assumed, just a few weeks ago, they would not need to consider in a race against the most unpopular presidential nominee in modern times: Could Mrs. Clinton actually blow this?

“It’s like someone dropped ice water on the head of America,” Julie Gaines, the owner of Fishs Eddy, a home goods store in Manhattan, said of Mr. Trump’s increased odds. “Everyone sobered up. This could happen.”

The creeping dread has accelerated in recent days, reaching critical levels even by Democratic standards.

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