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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

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

It’s debate night! FiveThirtyEight will be liveblogging the whole shebang, and I’ll be on ABC News Live in the pre-show this evening. Check them out!

3 of 5

The Florida Keys and the community of Key Haven, Florida, will vote in referendums on whether to introduce genetically modified mosquitoes into a test area in an attempt to reduce the population of Aedes aegypti, the species that transmits the Zika virus. While the resolution is non-binding, three of the five members of the Mosquito Control Board have agreed to comply with the plebiscite. [FiveThirtyEight]

+7.1 points

Mitt Romney won the South by 7.1 points over Barack Obama in 2012. Donald Trump is winning in the South too, but by a mere 1.2 points. This is typified by Texas, where Donald Trump is leading by a rather slim margin for a Republican. A University of Houston poll has him up a mere 3 points. [FiveThirtyEight]

90 years old

Legendary rock musician Chuck Berry announced Tuesday that he will release his first album in 38 years. Tuesday also happens to have been Berry’s 90th birthday. Think about that next time you’re not feeling up to completing a creative task you set out to do. [The Guardian]


A U.S. warship next month will visit New Zealand for the first time in three decades. In 1987, New Zealand passed a law banning ships that are powered by nuclear reactors or that carry nuclear weapons. The U.S. won’t confirm or deny the nuclear capabilities of its fleet, so the Navy hasn’t been there since. [ABC News]

$1 million

Election Day is still nearly three weeks away, but Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, announced that it is so confident that Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. election that it will pay out more than $1 million in winnings for bets made on her victory. [PaddyPower]


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face one another in their final presidential debate tonight. But the debate comes too late to change the minds of at least 2,064,538 confirmed voters. Early voting has been going on for some time now, and more than 2 million Americans have already cast ballots. You can stream the debate online here. [U.S. Elections Project]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.