Stories like this aren’t good for Sen. Hillary Clinton.

With Obama’s lead slipping (McCain now wins half the time, according to Nate), The latest NBC/WSJ Poll offers a very compelling narrative for the Democrats looking to start the Blame Game:

“It is not a dead heat, but it is close.”

The survey also shows that both presidential candidates face their share of challenges. For Obama, he receives the support of just one in two voters who backed Hillary Clinton in the primaries,

Bring those voters home, and Obama is set. If those “should-be” D voters continue to defect, he’s got an up-hill climb.

If Clinton is seen as somehow undermining what Democratic Party Stalwarts see as close to a sure thing, she’ll be persona non-grata within the party. Any chance for a second run or a leadership position within the Senate or even the Party will be gone, and the Clinton legacy will be re-written with a more bitter tone to the narrative.

Stories like this, they aren’t helping:

In all, Mrs. Clinton mentioned Mr. Obama’s name about 10 times. But at some points she sounded wistful….

Guy Montes, 63, a retired shift manager for United Airlines and a Clinton supporter in the primary, said later that Mrs. Clinton’s heart did not seem to be in it.

“It was a platonic type of endorsement,” Mr. Montes said. “It wasn’t real love. She’s just doing what she’s supposed to be doing.”…

Even Cecilia Payne, 52, an insurance agent in West Palm Beach originally from Barbados, who declared that “the Clintons are the best thing that ever happened to politics,” said Mrs. Clinton must work harder.

“She should have been a little more forceful and more convincing,” Ms. Payne said.

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