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Significant Digits For Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

Americans, go vote. And when you’re done voting, come to FiveThirtyEight for updates from our live blog all day and into the night. I’ll be representing FiveThirtyEight on ABC News’ election night live stream starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.

5 to 20 seats

All 435 U.S. House of Representatives seats are up for election today, and the Democrats would need a 30-seat swing to gain the majority. That is very unlikely. The Cook Political Report considers 37 seats competitive, seven of which are in Democratic hands and 30 of which are GOP seats. Given the uncertainty in the polls this cycle, Cook estimates a swing of five to 20 seats to Democrats. [FiveThirtyEight]

7 polls

Of the 19 polls to come in that were conducted beginning on or after Oct. 28 (when FBI Director James Comey said he was reviewing more emails related to the case of Hillary Clinton’s email server), seven had Clinton up 4 points and an additional four had her up 3 points. Although it’s perfectly possible for polls to converge, it’s worth being skeptical because there’s some herding at this point in the cycle, since no pollster wants to get burned. [FiveThirtyEight]

13 percent

Probability that a white man without a college degree who lives in Alabama will support a Democrat, compared with a 92 percent chance that a nonwhite woman who lives in D.C. and doesn’t have a college degree will. [The Economist]


Heads up: It is legal to take a selfie with your ballot in 21 states, plus D.C. It is illegal in 16. Know the rules in your state. Most states also ban campaign paraphernalia such as shirts or signs. Also, my armed friends, it is explicitly illegal to take a gun into a polling place in six states. [Digg]

36 percent

Percentage of Hispanic voters who have cast early ballots in Florida who did not vote in 2012. [The New York Times]

42 ballot initiatives

When you’re voting today — seriously, go vote — spare a thought for the residents of San Francisco, who besides having to cast a ballot in races for president, senator and representative also must contend with a thorough phalanx of ballot initiatives. California is bad enough; there are 17 statewide ballot initiatives, including health care policy changes and whether to require people performing in pornographic films to wear condoms. But San Francisco slathers it on, with voters having to tackle 25 additional local ballot measures. If only there were another way, such as democratically delegating an individual to represent the interests of a given community in a body of such people who make informed choices on matters of state. [CityLab]

50.5 percent

Probability that Republicans maintain control of the U.S. Senate, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecast. Democrats need to pick up at least four seats to have a chance of controlling the body. Close races to watch include the contests in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania. [FiveThirtyEight]

71.6 percent

Probability that Clinton will win the presidency, according to our polls-only model. The model forecasts Clinton getting 48.5 percent of the national popular vote and Donald Trump getting 45 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]

5,861,223 voters

That’s how many people voted in Florida in 2000, to some notoriety. This cycle, 6,424,595 people have already voted early in the Sunshine State, with 46,270,767 voting early nationally. [Joshua Chavers, The U.S. Elections Project]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.