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Significant Digits For Wednesday, March 9, 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.


Number of delegates Marco Rubio obtained in the Mississippi and Michigan Republican primaries on Tuesday due to his failure to win at least 15 percent of the vote in those states. He also failed to win any delegates in Idaho. [ABC News]

3 to 8 percent

A study of 2 million European firms found that an additional woman in senior management or on the board of directors was associated with a higher return on assets of 3 percent to 8 percent. [Quartz]

45 percent

Percentage of mammals that are ugly, according to a new study out of Australia. Well, not exactly: The research sorted species into three categories — “good,” “bad” and “ugly” — and found that adorable animals (“good”) were the subjects of disproportionately more academic research than invasive species (“bad”) or gross-looking, janky, phoned-in, busted-up animals (I’m using the scientific jargon, but, more succinctly, the “ugly” ones). Of the animals inventoried, 45 percent fell into the latter category. [The Telegraph]

50 percent

Massive upset in Michigan: While every poll had Hillary Clinton in the lead in the Democratic race, with several indicating she was well ahead, Bernie Sanders won the Michigan primary instead, with 50 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 48 percent. This is far and away one of the largest upsets in primary polling history. [FiveThirtyEight]

91 percent

Percentage of millennials who use a phone to make a purchase at least once a month, according to a market research firm. Churches appear to be interested in tapping into this behavior, and a new app — named, of course — lets people use their phones to cough up for the collection tray. [Bloomberg]


The FBI alleges that a man who worked for the armored transport company Brink’s stole $200,000 in quarters from the Atlanta Fed over the course of nearly two months. [The Wall Street Journal]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.