Former President Barack Obama (center) stands with Democratic House candidates from California (from left) Josh Harder, TJ Cox, Gil Cisneros, Katie Porter, Harley Rouda, and Mike Levin, during a campaign rally in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2018. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Patrick T. Fallon. / © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – After two years of energizing rallies, fist-pumping speeches, and talk of a building blue wave, Democrats in recent days have begun to feel a last-minute bout of nausea wash over them.

Terrified of reliving the dejection they awoke to on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, they are attempting to harness those nervous emotions and inject a bit of fear in the hearts of their supporters.

Katie Hill, who has emerged as one of the party’s most promising first-time congressional candidates, looked out at a group of about 100 supporters days ago and revealed that new polling indicated a four-point swing against her in what for decades has been a conservative stronghold, driven by consolidation by Republican voters into the camp of her opponent.

“We were ahead by a few points just a few weeks ago,” she said from a campaign headquarters sandwiched between a vape shop and a gun store. “The last poll we got back a couple days ago has us exactly tied.”

“These are the ones that should be – I don’t want to say the easiest – but really the ones that should flip from red to blue in this kind of a climate,” Hill said later about districts such as hers, won in 2016 by Hillary Clinton. “If we can’t do these ones, then how on earth are we going to do ones that are more red?”

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