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Significant Digits For Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

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

2-percentage-point lead

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s steady climb in the polls has reached a new high watermark: For the first time, Iowa’s most respected pollster has found her leading the 2020 pack in the state. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released over the weekend found Warren 2 points ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, though only one out of every five voters in Iowa say they’re certain about whom they’ll caucus for. [Des Moines Register]

40 percent of Republican congressmen

When President Trump took office in 2017 there were 241 Republicans in the House of Representatives. Now, nearly 40 percent of those politicians are either gone or plan to leave office. Most of those departures are due to a mix of electoral losses and retirements. But some Republicans, like Michigan’s Rep. Paul Mitchell, are openly fed up with Trump’s influence on the party, and want out. [The Washington Post]

136 years

The Metropolitan Opera, New York’s premier fortress for classical performance, has been around for 136 years. Yet it’s never staged an opera written by a black composer. Soon, that will change. The Met announced last week that it will stage “Fire Shut Up In My Bones,” an adaptation of a memoir by New York Times columnist Charles Blow. Its composer, Terence Blanchard, is known for his scores for Spike Lee movies, including the Oscar-nominated score for “BlacKkKlansman.” [The Root]

27 years

Israel has been waiting days to find out the consequences of their most recent election, and on Sunday it got a hint of what’s to come. Arab politicians exerted their power to help pick the prime minister for the first time in 27 years, saying they did not want current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s to continue on in the job. That may allow a rival party to try and form a government. [The New York Times]

$31 million

“Downton Abbey,” the comedy of manors that once aired on PBS in the U.S., returned over the weekend to a big box office haul, making $31 million in domestic theaters. I’m sure there’s another easy joke to make, but I never saw the show and I’m already sweating whether the “comedy of manors” crack is accurate. [Box Office Mojo]

0.2 degrees Celsius

Climate change statistics have a way of blurring together into one big smudge of bad news. But one number caught my eye in the World Meteorological Organization’s latest report. As the BBC put it: “Recognising that global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees C since 1850, the paper notes they have gone up by 0.2C between 2011 and 2015.” That’s a lot of warming in just five years. [BBC News]

Chadwick Matlin was a deputy managing editor at FiveThirtyEight.