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Significant Digits For Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

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0.5 percent

When you see a shift in the polls, it’s easy to ask, “What kind of person decides to just change their vote from him to her?” or vice-versa. Well, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Comparing the changes in presidential voting intentions in a group of 1,227 people polled in January and then in October, it’s not so much that people hop from Clinton to Trump (as 0.5 percent did) or Trump to Clinton (as 1.5 percent did) but that people jumped from Trump to Neither or Clinton to Neither and back. On the whole, few people have changed their views on the race. [FiveThirtyEight]

41 percent

Percentage of Republicans who in a New York Times/CBS News poll said they believed Donald Trump’s candidacy was bad for the GOP. This is abnormal. [The New York Times]

500 earnings calls

NFL viewership is down and it’s tough to find a single reason why. The league blames interest in the presidential race, but Bloomberg highlighted that is a rather common corporate scapegoat for poor performance: In a 90-day stretch, over 500 earning calls for companies cited some variation of “the election” regarding why their financials were what they were. [Bloomberg]

711 jobs

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (the part of the FDA tasked with approving new drugs) has a huge problem with staff retention. When a pharmaceutical company backs up a dump truck full of money for one of their employees it’s difficult to keep them around. This led to a drastic number of vacancies; the CDER had 711 openings out of only 5,525 total positions by the end of September. [Kaiser Health News]


Congratulations to the Arizona Cardinals, who after the Cubs’ historic victory in the world series now have the dubious honor of owning the longest championship drought in a major American sports league. The franchise — then the Chicago Cardinals — last won the NFL championship in 1947. No pressure. [Yahoo Sports]

49.9 million

Peak viewership of Game 7 of the World Series, right as the game headed into the ninth inning. On average the game was the most watched baseball telecast since 1991. [Reliable Sources]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.