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Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. Today is Super Tuesday, so buckle up for a lot of FiveThirtyEight links in this one.


Per capita campaign contributions from Vermont, the highest level in the country outside of the District of Columbia. (Vermont knows how to back a hometown candidate.) Among the big states, New York had the highest per capita contribution, about $1.39 per person. An important caveat: This analysis looked only at donations to candidates and didn’t include contributions to third-party political groups. [Bloomberg]

10 years

Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas asked a question at oral arguments for the first time in 10 years Monday, in the case of Voisine v. United States. [CNN]

37 percent

Donald Trump’s lead looks solid in Super Tuesday contests, at least according to polling data released Monday by SurveyMonkey. Trump had an average of 36 percent support in a selection of Super Tuesday state polls conducted Feb. 22 to 25, and 37 percent in polls from Feb. 26 to 29. [SurveyMonkey]

41 percent

Marco Rubio is considered the GOP establishment’s favored candidate, but he’s lagging behind his delegate targets. He has only 41 percent of the delegates we think he should given the demographics of the states that have voted thus far. Not great. Ted Cruz is at a measly 21 percent of his delegate target by FiveThirtyEight’s reckoning, and Trump is at 114 percent of his ideal target. Let’s see what those numbers look like after Super Tuesday. [FiveThirtyEight]

65 percent

Probability that Trump wins in Oklahoma, one of several states that remain decently competitive in the GOP primary, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus forecast. There’s a 72 percent chance of a Trump victory in Virginia, a 76 percent chance in Georgia, and a greater than 90 percent chance of Trump wins in Alabama and Massachusetts, the two states least likely to ever be grouped together in the same sentence, if you ask me. Cruz has an 85 percent chance of winning in Texas, his home state. [FiveThirtyEight]

67 percent

Given the current lay of the land, it’s possible the GOP primary will be effectively decided on March 15, when the Florida winner-take-all primary happens and 99 delegates go to one candidate. While hometown senator Rubio would, one would think, have the best shot, according to an analysis of the current polling, Trump has a 67 percent chance of winning the primary. Oh boy. [FiveThirtyEight]

71 percent

China has had a sexual revolution in the past several decades. In 1989 the number of people surveyed who had sex before marriage was 15.5 percent, but that rose to 71 percent in 2014. Sex before marriage was a crime before 1997. [BBC]

99 percent

The Super Tuesday races appear to be less interesting on the Democratic side, where Clinton looks set to decisively win many states. Fun races to watch will be Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oklahoma. [FiveThirtyEight]


Cost to get a developer edition of the Microsoft HoloLens, a virtual-reality gadget that lets you watch video game characters run around your living room. If that sounds pricey, it’s because it totally is, and is only really aimed at developers who want to make stuff for an eventual consumer edition. [The Next Web]

$8 million

Asking price to buy the Nevada town of Cal-Nev-Ari, which has a population of 350 and is located near the borders of — you know what, just guess which three states it’s near. I’ll wait. [KTNV]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.