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The Well-Tempered Election Analyst who gets a little help from Bach / WFMT

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Arnon Mishkin has been called a data ninja, able to crunch numbers more powerfully than a 3.4 GHz computer processor. How, then, does this man, who leads the Fox News Decision Desk, analyzing exit polls and explaining shifting voting blocs from what has come to be known as the "Nerdquarium," prepare for the grueling hours ahead on the day and night of (and increasingly the morning after) a Presidential Election? He plays the cello. 

Mishkin, mild-mannered media consultant with a ready laugh, has a long day before him, yet he wakes up earlier than usual. It's the morning of the first Tuesday after November 1 in a Leap Year, when we (that is, about 55 percent of us) will go to the polls to cast our ballots for the next President of the United States. Mishkin tightens the strings on his bow, tunes up his instrument, and plays music of Bach, choosing one of the first two of the unaccompanied cello suites. 

This is surely about as unexpected a way to prepare as one could imagine. How did this unlikely ritual begin? To learn that, we need to go back to Mishkin's childhood. 

The pressures of Election Day - spending hour after intense hour in total concentration analyzing data from large nationwide polls, sample precincts, and the actual vote itself;  - will come soon enough. But when it does, as he has been on previous presidential election days, Arnon Mishkin will be ready for an exhilarating and nerve-testing Tuesday night. He will have played Bach on his cello that morning. (Photo courtesy FOX News Channel) 

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