Significant Digits For Thursday, May 2, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcasts in Texas this month.

Do Debates Matter?
Tuesday October 15, 2019

Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited. sarahf (Sarah Frostenson, politics editor): Tonight marks the fourth Democratic primary debate, and although we’ve written, as a site, that maybe the race is now just between two or three candidates … there are actually 12 candidates on the debate stage. Which […]

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50 weeks in prison
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison after having been ousted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’d been living since 2012, and convicted of jumping bail. The British judge who sentenced Assange said that his stay there had cost taxpayers $21 million and that his asylum was a “deliberate attempt to delay justice.” [NPR]

Wide receiver Brenden Rice, son of Jerry Rice, picks Colorado over ASU
Tuesday October 15, 2019

Local wide receiver recruit Brenden Rice announced his commitment to Colorado on Tuesday, picking the Buffaloes over Arizona State. Rice is a three-star recruit (according to ESPN and 247Sports) from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, and is the son of the NFL’s all-time leading receiver Jerry Rice. As a junior in high school, he […]

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About 60 Twitter users
President Trump, who has some 60 million Twitter followers, retweeted nearly 60 other users in under an hour yesterday morning in an “attempt to show that he has support from firefighters.” The Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earned an endorsement from the International Association of Fire Fighters, one of the country’s largest firefighter unions, last week. It was unclear, ABC News reported, if each of the accounts Trump retweeted were legitimate. [ABC News]

Are Any Of MLB’s Breakout Teams For Real?
Wednesday May 01, 2019

Statheads know that it usually takes roughly 70 games for baseball results to really start meaning something. On the first day of May a year ago, the New York Mets were 17-9 and the Los Angeles Dodgers were 12-16. Needless to say, both these teams’ fortunes would change: The Mets immediately collapsed into oblivion; the […]

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19-year scam
For 19 years, NASA was sold faulty aluminum, a governmental investigation has revealed. Employees at the “aluminum extrusion maker” Sapa Profiles had been falsifying test results from 1996 to 2015, according to the Justice Department. NASA said the scam was the cause of malfunctioning protective nose cones during the failed 2009 Orbiting Carbon Observatory and 2011 Glory missions. [CNET]

82 appointees
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court restored 82 appointees, made by Republican former Gov. Scott Walker, who were confirmed during a lame duck legislative session. The current Democratic Gov. Tony Evers argued that he could essentially fire some of the appointees because a lower court ruled that that entire lame duck session was unconstitutional. The legal question of the validity of that session remains open. [Associated Press]

12 MLB teams
Twelve of the 30 Major League Baseball teams — i.e., more than I can really justify listing in a news capsule summary paragraph — saw their attendance in March and April drop this year compared to the same time last season. This comes after a 4 percent overall drop in attendance in 2018 — and the weather was terrible that year. [USA Today]

$600 for every voter
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the [checks notes] 283 Democratic candidates for president, has unveiled her “first major 2020 policy initiative,” which she calls Democracy Dollars. To wit, she proposes that every voter be given $600 to donate to candidates running for federal office in that voter’s state. The plan is meant to blunt the effect of big money in politics. [NBC News]

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