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Significant Digits For Thursday, March 17, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re trying out a new approach, with fewer news items but more detail, so please bear with us.

3 delegates

Something very interesting happened in the state of Illinois among Trump voters. Home of weird elections, the state has some pretty odd election rules when it comes to delegates in GOP primaries. Namely, at the district level, Republican Illinoisans vote for 3 individual people who declare their personal preference for president, rather than the candidate they would prefer to get 3 generic delegates. Anyway! Turns out this practice may have hurt Trump in Illinois, mainly because three delegates with the last names of “Sadiq,” “Fakroddin” and “Uribe,” substantially underperformed their fellow delegates — all with, for all intents and purposes, hella white names like “Nordstrom,” “Minch” and “Hartmann” — to the tune of Donald Trump getting 3 fewer delegates than otherwise possible. [FiveThirtyEight]

7 senators

Number of Republican senators still seated in the upper house who voted to confirm Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, in 1997. Five sitting GOP senators voted against him. [The Week]

15 years

A University of Virginia student who was arrested in North Korea for allegedly stealing a poster was sentenced to 15 years of prison and hard labor, according to reports on Wednesday. North Korea’s highest court found the 21-year-old Otto Warmbier guilty. [NPR]

94 percent

We’ve had a whole lot of election news over the past few weeks, but here is my secret favorite: Following Marco Rubio’s exit from the race, Predictwise has it as a 94 percent chance that the next President of the United States is from New York. That distinction is shared by Clinton, Trump and the declined-to-run-but-hey-anything-is-possible Michael Bloomberg. Sure, Fillmore left something to be desired and Van Buren lacked pizzazz, but hey, both of the Roosevelts were pretty rad — you guys should be excited for this! [Predictwise]

125 applications

Last year, a guy named Martin Shkreli cranked up the price of a rare anti-fungal drug used to fight the effects of AIDS from $13.50 per pill to $750. Now the FDA is trying to stop those kinds of shenanigans by expediting the review process for generic drugs that will compete with brand-name off-patent drugs that are only produced by a single company. Basically, competitors can get to the market faster, making the whole “profiteering from the dying” business model slightly less financially sound. FDA spokesperson Sandy Walsh told Bloomberg in an email that the agency expects up to 125 current applications will be expedited. [Ars Technica]


Chipotle is having a bad time. Sales are even lower than expected, and the quarter that was supposed to be its rebound to the top was just more of the same. The last time Chipotle Mexican Grill stock was above $700 was back in October, before all this E. coli news dropped. The stock was recently teetering near $500. Still, that $700 number is now crucial for co-CEOs Monty Moran and Steve Ells, as a big chunk of their compensation is now tied to the stock hanging above $700 for 30 consecutive days. [Bloomberg]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.