You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. We’re coming off Super Tuesday, so buckle up for a lot of FiveThirtyEight links in this one. Perhaps tomorrow we get a return to normalcy.
2 leap babies
In an improbable albeit delightful coincidence, a Michigan couple’s second child was born on a leap day — that is, Feb. 29, the freebie we get every four years — just as her sister was four years ago. It wasn’t a scheduled bit of serendipity, either, as Evelyn Joy arrived 10 days past her due date and her mother’s labor wasn’t induced. [Fox News]
In an otherwise strong night for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders won in four states Tuesday: close contests in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado as well as a walk-off home run in his home state, Vermont. He still lags behind her substantially in the delegate count, and there’s reason to be skeptical of his ability to win the nomination, but it’s a solid Super Tuesday showing for the faithful nonetheless. [FiveThirtyEight]
That’s the probability that Republican candidate Marco Rubio will win the Michigan Republican primary March 8, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus forecast. That will be a key number to watch over the next several days: Rubio did not have a good Super Tuesday, so it’ll be interesting to see what effect if any the lackluster suite of primaries and caucuses has on his prospects in the next major big-state contest. [FiveThirtyEight]
Republican candidate Ben Carson won no states Tuesday night, but he did regale fans in Baltimore with a 15-minute speech about the Pledge of Allegiance after announcing that he would not quit the race. [ABC News]
March 15: mark your calendar, gird your loins, make peace with whatever god you believe in, for that is the day we find out how the rest of this Republican primary campaign is going to go. Did I talk about this yesterday? Sure. But after Tuesday night, it went from “important to win” to “somebody’s Waterloo, but we don’t know whose yet.” Florida will allocate 99 delegates to whichever Republican wins a plurality in the state. Second place gets nothing. Right now, based on FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus forecast, there’s a 66 percent chance that the candidate walking away with 99 delegates is Donald Trump and a 33 percent chance it’s home-state senator Marco Rubio. If the former wins, the primary may as well be over. If the latter wins — or if Ted Cruz, a long-shot underdog in the state, manages something at the moment unfathomable — we’ve got a race. [FiveThirtyEight]
How many delegates Donald Trump needed to win of the 595 at stake in Super Tuesday primaries in order to remain on target to take the GOP nomination. [FiveThirtyEight]
States will be crunching the numbers on precise delegate counts for some time, but based on my colleague David Wasserman’s reckoning, that’s about how many delegates Donald Trump probably won on Super Tuesday. That number, you may notice, is higher than his target. Ted Cruz likewise had a great night, winning contests in Texas and Oklahoma. For him the precise delegate haul will be slightly harder to tally, but it’s still going to be better than expectations. [@Redistrict]
Astronaut Scott Kelly is back to Earth safe and sound after a 340-day mission on the International Space Station. Kelly touched down in Kazakhstan late Tuesday night, Eastern time. Kelly has an identical twin brother, Mark, also an astronaut, and the reason for his lengthy stay in space was to compare the physiological effects of prolonged exposure to low gravity and higher-than-typical radiation to Scott’s brother on Earth. The larger goal: preparing for long space trips NASA has in the works. [Boing Boing]
Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota vetoed a bill that would force transgender students to use the locker room and restroom of the gender they were assigned at birth. In a letter to the Legislature, Daugaard argued, “As policymakers in South Dakota, we often recite that the best government is the government closest to the people. Local school districts can, and have, made necessary restroom and locker room accommodations that serve the best interests of all students, regardless of biological sex or gender identity.” [KSFY]
Twitter has been around for 10 years. In that time, the company has lost more than $2 billion, according to its annual 10-K company overview filing. [Time]
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