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Finding myself in London on Nov. 4, I agreed to clear up any questions my English friend Nigel happened to have about how to interpret the American midterm elections. It's obviously beneficial to spread understanding of the American political system abroad, and I've never minded analyzing elections after the results are in. As the political commentators discovered once again this year, it's analysis done before the election that's very likely to make you look foolish.

"Let me see if I understand this," Nigel said. "The fact that the voters said in the exit polls that they didn't consider the election a...

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