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Significant Digits For Tuesday, March 19, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast in New York City on March 20.


John Bercow, the speaker of England’s House of Commons, has injected even more confusion into the ongoing debate about Brexit. Bercow ruled that he would not allow a third vote — it failed twice before — on the same version of Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal. To justify his decision, he cited, naturally, a convention dating back to 1604. Constitutional crises are very in right now. [BBC]

$6.1 million raised

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign reported that it raised $6.1 million in the 24 hours following its launch — more, even, than the $5.9 million raised in the first day by Bernie Sanders and his campaign. In a distant third is Kamala Harris, who raised $1.5 million in her first 24 hours. [ABC News]

12,995 “terrorists”

China said in a report on Monday that it had arrested 12,995 “terrorists,” crushed 1,588 “terrorist gangs,” and seized 345,229 copies of “illegal religious publicity materials” since 2014. The report, according to the Associated Press, was meant to combat charges against China about a “cultural genocide” — about the state’s internment camps and oppression in the traditionally Islamic region of Xinjiang, in the northwest of the country. [Associated Press]

2 clauses

The exposure of the inner workings of the Trump Organization may hinge on two arcane clauses in the Constitution. These are the two emoluments clauses — foreign and domestic — which are central to a case before a federal appeals court in Virginia, and which prohibit federal officials from accepting gifts from governments. “It’s rare for judges to be faced with a legal issue that is actually novel, particularly when it comes to the Constitution,” my colleague Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux writes. [FiveThirtyEight]

$8.5 billion in bets

People love March Madness and they are expected to show it in that most American of ways — with their wallets. Some 47 million people are expected to wager a total of $8.5 billion on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, according to the American Gaming Association. That compares to a forecasted $325 million bet on the Super Bowl. And while I personally may not put my money where my mouth is, I am comfortable saying it here: Go Hawks! [Reuters]

69 percent

President Trump’s support among white evangelical Protestants remains high: 69 percent approve of the way he’s handling the job, down slightly from a high of 78 percent a year or so ago, according to Pew. This compares to about 50 percent of Protestants overall, 36 percent of Catholics and 20 percent of the religiously unaffiliated. [Pew Research Center]

From ABC News:

News headlines today: Mar. 19, 2019

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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.