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Significant Digits For Friday, Aug. 10, 2018

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


More than 760,000 competitors

More than 760,000 people entered the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship this year. The winner of the Excel division, claimant to the fantastic title World Excel Champion and surely now the most popular kid in his high school if there is any justice in the world, was 15-year-old Kevin Dimaculangan of Florida. [CNN]


30 percent increase in newsprint prices

The Trump administration’s tariffs on Canadian newsprint have dealt another blow to already staggering local newspapers, forcing cuts in staff and (literally) narrower coverage. Also, by one estimate, U.S. newsprint prices will increase 30 percent over the next year or two. [The New York Times]


82 percent with “warm” feelings

In November 2016, 87 percent of Donald Trump voters had “warm” feelings toward the man, according to a Pew Research Center survey. By March 2018, these numbers had cooled only very little: 82 percent of Trump voters retained warm feelings toward him. For my part, I’ve long been incapable of any feeling. [Pew Research Center]


9-point scandals

In light of the arrest of Chris Collins, the Republican U.S. House member from New York, on charges of insider trading, my colleague Nate Silver looked into how much “scandals” hurt incumbents running for re-election. Quite a bit, it turns out. Since 1998, “scandal-plagued” incumbents won re-election by an average of 21.5 points, but this was compared to a projected margin of victory of 30.5 points. Scandals, therefore, cost about 9 points. [FiveThirtyEight]


15 percent of MoviePass users

Embattled MoviePass recently limited to three the number of movies its subscribers can see a month. Only 15 percent were seeing more than three movies a month using the service, according to the company, but some of those were really using the service. One bought tickets to “Avengers: Infinity War” six times but never went. Another saw “Lady Bird” six times. One said he went to a theater more than 570 days in a row. And one used it so he could have access to a public restroom in the public-restroom-sparse New York City. [BuzzFeed]


66 percent for government-paid tuition

Last month, a PR agency founded by the conservative and very rich Koch brothers commissioned an opinion poll on U.S. policy issues. Eighty-four percent of the respondents said that enforcing equal rights for all was a “very effective” or “somewhat effective” solution to overcoming social barriers. That number was 85 percent for encouraging scientific and technological innovation, 77 percent for ending harsh sentences for nonviolent crimes, 69 percent for more regulation of Wall Street, and 66 percent for government-paid college tuition. A Koch-backed group, probably needless to say, campaigned against government-paid tuition in 2016. [The Intercept]


If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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