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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

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


Number of times the letter “l” appears in the name Hillary, at least in the context of the Clinton running for president. This memo did not make it to Hofstra University, where all the tickets to Monday’s debate (which you can relive here) billed Donald Trump vs. some rando named Hilary Clinton. [Independent Journal Review]

35 to 40 percent

Percentage of calls to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Crisis Line that go to back-up call centers, according to the hotline’s former director. The director blamed bad work habits at the call centers for the overrun, and said that people who staff the back-up centers aren’t as well-trained to handle veterans’ needs. [The Associated Press]

42.4 percent

Yesterday alone FiveThirtyEight added more than 100 state and national polls to our database as pollsters released their pre-debate findings, and dang is it close. Hillary Clinton had an average of 42.4 percent support in our national average compared to 41.0 percent for Donald Trump. But we had a debate last night, and Nate Silver says that because Clinton won, the polls should be kinder to her in about a week. If they aren’t, that’s a very bad sign for Democrats. [FiveThirtyEight]


Profits from an EpiPen two-pack, according to manufacturer Mylan, 60 percent higher than the company told Congress recently. The list price for the two-pack of the medication that prevents a horrible death from anaphylactic shock is $608. [CNBC]

219 lbs

According to USDA projections, by 2025 Americans will consume 219 pounds of meat per year on average. This decade that number has been about 211 pounds annually. [Gizmodo]

$2.6 billion

Some former employees of Wells Fargo — which sacked 5,300 people for opening accounts without the consent of its customers to satisfy sales targets — are suing the bank in a class action lawsuit for $2.3 billion in damages. The employees suing were fired because they didn’t meet the targets set by the company, targets they say were only attainable through illegal means. [NPR]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.