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Significant Digits for Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019

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


58 percent of voters in NYC

Running for president may increase a candidate’s profile across the country, but FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich shows how it can hurt your popularity at home. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have all suffered significant drops in their approval ratings in Massachusetts, New Jersey and California, respectively, since they entered the 2020 campaign. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, saw the largest drop in popularity among local voters after running for president — his unfavorable rating jumped from 50 percent to 58 percent, and his net favorable rating fell from -6 percentage points to -25 points. [FiveThirtyEight]


20 percent

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¥268 billion in “Singles Day” sales

Black Friday and Prime Day may be the most popular shopping days in the United States, but Alibaba’s “Singles Day” dwarfs both of them; it boasted more than 268 billion yuan ($38.3 billion) in purchases during this year’s 24-hour event. It was a new record for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., with customers buying everything from pricey electronics to mangoes from Uganda. The day’s final sales total is closely watched by investors as an indicator of economic growth and Chinese spending. Also, American superstar Taylor Swift and Asian pop icon G.E.M. both performed at the Alibaba’s Global Shopping Festival entertainment revue. [Yahoo Finance]


300 weather records

If you live on the East Coast, it’s officially time to dig out your winter gear. The National Weather Service is predicting that the next several days will feature more than 300 record-breaking (or record-equaling) cold temperatures. Two thirds of the country will experience an “Arctic blast” that will move from the Great Plains on Monday to the eastern U.S. on Tuesday and Wednesday. CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said more than 70 million people could see accumulating snow this week. [CNN]


97 bushfires

New South Wales is thousands of miles away from California, but the Australian state is facing its own fire crisis due to strong winds and high temperatures. Late on Tuesday, there were 97 fires burning across the eastern Australian state, many of them uncontained, and more than 600 schools had been closed. Officials from the Rural Fire Service advised residents to “remain vigilant.” [Sydney Morning Herald]


500 Hearst employees

On Monday, staff at Hearst announced that they are forming a union with the Writers Guild of America East. The company is one of the country’s oldest major magazine publishers — behind well-known names like Esquire, Cosmopolitan and Elle — and the unionization effort includes a variety of employees across 24 titles. According to The Daily Beast, the announcement came after more than a year of organizing behind the scenes, resulting in “the vast majority” of the company’s 500-plus editorial staff signing cards that pledged support for the unionization effort. [The Daily Beast]


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