Hillary's backers thought she couldn't lose. Now, "I can't go there."

But as 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?

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“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 gloom seems to be spreading. Maurice Doucet, 55, a software engineer from Portland, Ore., wondered aloud on Wednesday how the race had gotten this close, lamenting Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“The rational side of my brain goes, ‘There’s no way people are actually going to switch sides,’” he said of voters’ movement toward Mr. Trump. “But the emotional side,” he added, his voice trailing off moments later.