The hindsight bias we have seen is fueled in part by the wave of post-election spin that follows every election. Inevitably, the press reports, as it has this time around, that the winner won due to the strategic genius of the candidate and his campaign (often based on source-greasing interviews with staffers taking a victory lap) and the loser lost due to disarray and mistakes within his campaign (typically fueled by internal leaks seeking to deflect blame).

Still, many political observers seem to struggle to understand how hindsight bias is clouding their judgments and the media’s coverage. It can be difficult to imagine the stories we would be seeing now if Romney had won, for instance. That’s why it’s instructive to consider Politico’s premortem on how an Obama loss would be interpreted, which seems like a plausible counterfactual account of the stories that would now be circulating. (They also wrote a Romney premortem that didn’t anticipate the emphasis that would be given to Obama’s ads and the ground game.) Or consider the story of the 2004 election. According to an American Journalism Review article, reporters relying on flawed exit polls ended up writing stories “explaining” why Kerry won that had to be replaced by alternate accounts recounting how Bush won a narrow victory…