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Significant Digits For Friday, July 8, 2016

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

12 officers shot, 5 killed

At least one gunman shot 12 police officers, killing five, in Dallas on Thursday night. Two civilians were also wounded. The attack occurred during a demonstration against recent police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. This story is still developing, so there’s still a lot we don’t know. [Dallas Morning News]


Cost of a typical roadside drug test kit used by police departments. Namely, is that white powder you’re packing baking soda or blow? Well, it turns out that these cheap drug tests have some pretty significant problems with false positives. One study found 33 percent of cocaine field tests in Las Vegas between 2010 and 2013 were false positives. According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement data, 21 percent of substances identified by the police as methamphetamine were not methamphetamine. [ProPublica]

12 percent

Nielsen is out with a report on how the music industry did in the first six months of 2016. The company tracked 208.9 billion music streams, including audio and video, which is up 58.7 percent over the same period in 2015. Still, the remnants of a bygone era of music aren’t going away quietly: Sales of vinyl LPs accounted for 12 percent of “physical business” in the first six months of 2016, up from 9 percent last year. [Nielsen]

14 percent

Percent of people who trust the news information they get from friends, families and acquaintances “a lot,” compared to 18 percent who place a similar level of trust in national news organizations. Nobody trusts what they read on Facebook, though: Only 4 percent of web users trusted news from social media “a lot.” [Pew Research Center]

41 GOP senators

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, went to Capitol Hill yesterday. More than 200 Republican House members showed up to a meeting with Trump, but a separate meeting with the nominal GOP standard-bearer was attended by just 41 of the 54 Republican senators. Only 30 senators entered the meeting through the front door, where the media’s cameras were rolling. While we don’t know exactly what went down in these meetings, early reports include a number of hilarious altercations between Trump and the “Establishment.” [Politico]

74 percent

Percentage of registered voters who said that “it really matters who wins the election,” according to a Pew Research Center study. That’s the largest percentage Pew has found in any presidential election cycle going back to 2000, when only half of respondents agreed. The study also found that a higher percentage of people think about the election and follow news about the election than in any presidential year since 1992. [Pew Research Center]

UPDATE (July 8, 5:48 p.m.): This article has been updated to reflect new information about the Dallas attack, including a new casualty count from the Dallas mayor, Mike Rawlings, who said Friday that seven law enforcement officers were wounded, along with two civilians, in addition to the five officers who were killed..

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.