Beside the olive display at Zabar’s, that iconic hub of lox and neurosis on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Linda Donohue was trying to talk herself down.
“We have to have more faith in the American public,” said Ms. Donohue, 61, a longtime New Yorker now living in Seattle.
A man behind her could not suppress a loud snort.
Then Cathi Anderson, who was shopping with Ms. Donohue, mentioned yet another distressing poll, this one from Ohio, which showed Mr. Trump ahead. Ms. Donohue nodded grimly.
Just in case her faith in the American electorate was misplaced, Ms. Donohue said, she had retained her Irish citizenship.
For both parties, every election can feel like the most vital of a lifetime, the one day standing between a still-proud nation and its imminent demise.
Among liberals, there is an especially rich tradition of “bed-wetting,” as even some practitioners call it, at the faintest sign of shakiness from their candidate.