Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Wednesday, May 1, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcasts in Texas this month.

$2 trillion infrastructure plan

Democratic leaders announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement with President Trump to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure plan “to upgrade the nation’s highways, railroads, bridges and broadband.” It was the first “substantive sit-down” between the parties since the lengthy government shutdown last winter. “Infrastructure week?” I haven’t heard that name in … [The New York Times]

From ABC News:

Trump agrees to $2 trillion infrastructure bill

$5 trillion climate plan

Well, well, well, speaking of trillion-with-a-T-dollar plans, Beto O’Rourke’s got one. His has to do with the climate — he calls it “the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States” — and it proposes $5 trillion in new investment, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and zero net emissions by 2050. [Vox]

30 years

The Japanese Emperor Akihito has stepped aside after 30 years on the Chrysanthemum Throne, abdicating his position to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito. Thus ends the period known as Heisei — “achieving peace” — and thus begins Reiwa — “auspicious calm.” [NPR]


According to census data, there are six public relations jobs for every one reporter job. As my journalist colleague Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux tweeted: “This explains so much about my inbox.” [Bloomberg]

11-point bounce

Joe Biden, former vice president and senator from Delaware, has surged in polls following the official announcements of his 2020 presidential candidacy last week. For instance, according to a new CNN survey conducted after Thursday’s announcement, he is the top choice of 39 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning independent voters. That’s up from 28 percent in March. [CNN]

75 points

Biden has also risen to the top of FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement tracker, where he sits with 75 points — former presidents and vice presidents are worth 10 points, governors 8, senators 6, representatives 3 and so on. We track such things because “party elites use endorsements to influence not only voters but also each other, hoping to get other powerful party members to rally behind the candidate they think would be most acceptable.” [FiveThirtyEight]

From ABC News:

It’s Morning, America: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.”

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.