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Significant Digits For Friday, Aug. 16, 2019

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


23 candidates

And then there were … well, there’s actually still 23. Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for president yesterday, trimming the Democratic field to fewer than two dozen. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate,” Hickenlooper said in a video statement. He’s the second candidate to withdraw, following Representative Eric Swalwell of California. [The New York Times]


36 cases

A review performed by ABC News identified 36 criminal cases across the country in which President Trump was “invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.” These included perpetrators praising Trump in the midst or aftermath of physical attacks or threats, and in explanations in court of a defendant’s violent or threatening behavior. ABC News found no cases where President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush was so invoked. [ABC News]


5 articles

Over the last few years, news sites’ paywalls have gotten tighter. Whereas the average limit in 2012 was 13 free articles, it’s currently five free articles, according to a study of the practices of more than 500 American newspapers. During that same time, one assumes, the use of browsers’ incognito mode has skyrocketed. [Nieman Lab]


26 percent of Democrats

Of 304 Democratic governors and congresspeople, only 26 percent have endorsed a presidential candidate, a number which has grown only very slowly since a spate of endorsements early this year. Something similar was true for the large Republican field in 2016, and it’s “possible that, once again, endorsements may prove to be a less useful indicator when predicting who might win the nomination,” my colleague Geoffrey Skelley writes. [FiveThirtyEight]


16 million voters

As many as 16 million 2020 voters will vote using electronic machines that generate no paper trail, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice. (Disclosure: I worked there years ago, though not on voting issues.) Amid concerns about election security, however, experts argue that paper records are the “single best way to corroborate voting numbers.” The 16 million number is down from 27.5 million in 2016. [Popular Mechanics]


8 phones

A state trooper in Washington stopped to assist the driver of a car stopped on the shoulder of a highway south of Seattle. He discovered, however, that the driver was playing Pokemon Go on eight phones at once. Gotta catch ’em all, after all. The driver was not ticketed as he was not moving while using the devices. [Associated Press]


Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

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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