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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015

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

1 paid staffer

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign appears to be in dire straits: His polling numbers are negligible (they’re in rounding-error territory) and according to reports from Perry aides, he’s down to a single paid staffer in the entire state of Iowa. Basically barring a huge turnaround, Perry is that kid from “The Hunger Games” who fell for the ol’ “big pile of shiny weapons” trick in the first five minutes. [USA Today]


2.1 percent

Increase in revenue collected in Colorado from alcohol excise taxes from June 2014 through May 2015. Reminder that Colorado legalized marijuana, so this is good news for a local alcohol industry worried that cannabis would cut into its market. So far at least, marijuana has not stopped the rest of the intoxicant industry from expanding. I don’t normally do calls to action here, but you really need to read this story if only to see the greatest use of the idiom “a high tide lifts all boats.” [The Guardian]


11 turnovers

Ladies and gentlemen who support the Washington NFL team, please allow me to re-introduce your starting quarterback: Kirk Cousins, who had 11 turnovers in five games last year. Apparently head coach Jay Gruden elected to sit anticipated starter Robert Griffin III for the first game of the year in favor of Cousins, despite urging from management to play RG3. [ESPN]


23 percent

According to a new poll, the support among likely Iowa caucus-goers for GOP candidate Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon. Carson is tied with Donald Trump. [Monmouth University]


29 districts

For the first time ever, Singapore will have a two-or-more party contest in each of its 29 districts in an upcoming election. The politics of the city-state has been dominated by the unbroken rule of the People’s Action Party, but following the demise of the party’s longtime leader in March, other parties have seen an opportunity to compete. [Bloomberg]


75 percent

A proposed takeover bid of third-party travel booking site Orbitz by competitor Expedia could result in a company that controls about 75 percent of the domestic market in the field, according to research from Phocuswright. This potential deal has put hoteliers on notice, with many trying to find legal ways to attract and keep customers with factors other than price. [The New York Times]


80 percent

Efficiency of a Swiss “solar sunflower” design for solar energy collection. The apparatus, which kind of looks like a satellite dish hooked up to a disco ball, is able to produce 12kW of electricity and 21kW of thermal energy. It’s still pricier per watt than cheap solar cells, but its efficiency is intriguing — and it’s pretty to look at. [Ars Technica]


$100 gift cards

Jeep really, really wants to get recalled vehicles into the shop, and to make sure owners get around to bringing in their cars for necessary repairs, the company has resorted to giving out $100 gift cards. [Bloomberg]


500 calorie limit

A New York City council member wants to cap the nutritional intake on fast food children’s meals at 500 calories. I can see an argument in favor of that, sure, but Council Member Benjamin J. Kallos also wants to mess with the macronutrient composition of food by capping fat content. The last time the government tried to pull that off, things went pretty badly. [New York Observer]


1,279 career rushing attempts

The NFL’s oldest running back, Fred Jackson, was cut from the Buffalo Bills Monday after almost a decade with the team. Jackson, a fan favorite, was the top rusher for Buffalo last year. “F—ing Bills,” added local political reporter and Buffalo fan Harry Enten. “If they go 7-9 and cut Fred Jackson I will be so pissed,” Enten added in a late-night message. [ESPN]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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