Election 2014  
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10 Things You Should Know About the Post-Debate Polls

Answers to your imaginary polling questions!

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It's also worth noting that 53 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the incumbent – one point less than his high-water mark for the year.

10. OK, So the Takeaway Is?

Take a deep breath, and don't panic. A black guy dealing with 8 percent unemployment was never going to run away with it. It seems like we have the race we were supposed to have, but we need to wait for more polling to be certain.

In the meantime, Nate Silver -- whose model now gives Obama a 75 percent chance of victory in November – offered this advice:

If you can trust yourself to take the polls in stride, then I would encourage you to do so. If your impression of the race is changing radically every few minutes, however, then you’re best off looking at the forecasts and projections that we and our competitors publish, along with Vegas betting lines and prediction markets.

All of these methods have slightly different ways of accounting for new information, but they do involve people who are risking either money or reputation to get it right, and who have systematic ways to weigh the evidence rather than doing so on an ad hoc basis.

Joshua Holland is Senior Digital Producer at BillMoyers.com, and host of Politics and Reality Radio. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter

 
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