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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 16, 2016

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re trying out a new approach, with fewer news items but more detail, so please bear with us.

<1 percent

Missouri was the site of not one but two neck-and-neck primary races, with an incredibly slim margin separating Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, each of whom gained approximately 41 percent of the vote, and slightly more than 1,000 votes separating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, each of whom got about half the vote. The races are close enough that absentee and provisional ballots could swing the results, even though 100 percent of precincts have reported. [ABC News, CNN]

11 months

After an 11-month campaign in which he was, at times, considered the presumptive establishment nominee of the Republican party, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has suspended his campaign leaving only three remaining candidates — Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and local businessman and current front-runner Donald Trump, the winner of the Florida primary. If I got the previous sentence as an email this time last year I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. Now, not so much, you know? [ABC News]

18 meters of tweed

A racehorse showed up to the Cheltenham Festival dressed in a three-piece tweed suit, which truly must be seen to be believed. I am not from the U.K. but after reading up on the festival — it is a “prestigious jump meeting” for horses where people wear a lot of tweed — I now understand why England has had as many revolutions as it has. It took 18 meters of tweed to outfit the horse, enough to clothe 10 literary studies professors. [CNN]

24 hours

The D.C. Metro will shut down for an estimated 24 hours starting midnight due to safety fears about the dilapidated and frequently flammable transit system. The day will be spent doing emergency inspections of cables. Kids get off scot-free playing hooky from school and people in the D.C. area are encouraged to telecommute, which means nothing is going to get done. Washington is broken. [The Washington Post]


How much quarterback Matt Cassel received as a performance bonus for his brief time on the Buffalo Bills last year. Cassel played one snap before being traded to Dallas, where his bonus was $28,241.22. Ten NFL players received a performance bonus less than $500 last season. [ESPN]

64 percent

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each achieved a massive win in the state of Florida. While Trump took 46 percent of the vote, he got each of the 99 delegates up for grabs in the winner-take-all state. Clinton on the other hand won about 64 percent of the vote, and due to the delegate allocation of the Democratic primary will expand her delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders by a substantial amount. As Clinton knows far too well, Democratic primaries are won and lost by such delegate leads. [ABC News]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.