Title: The Hand You’re Dealt: from the forthcoming Fall 2013 book The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election
Author: John Sides (Princeton University Press)
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This is the first of a series of free eBook preview chapters—scheduled to be released between August and December 2012—from a groundbreaking book in progress about the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

What are the odds that Barack Obama will be reelected in November, despite a weak economy? Many answers to this question are backed by little more than speculation and spin. But what does current and historical data—and political science—suggest? In this chapter,…