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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015

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

30 years

Public Service Announcement: The Internet is going to suck today if you don’t like “Back To The Future Part II” (1989). Because when Marty McFly went back to the future in that movie, he traveled to Oct. 21, 2015. That’s today! And, in a shocker, a lot of stuff that moviemakers put in a 1989 film set in 2015 never came to be. Be sure to avoid all the tedious listicles of that stuff. In fact, I’ll save you the trouble (spoiler alert!): We don’t have hover boards. [FiveThirtyEight Vintage]

53.8 percent

Percentage of votes cast in the annual NBA general managers survey predicting the Cleveland Cavaliers will win the championship this season. The San Antonio Spurs came in second in the poll, with 25 percent of the vote. [ESPN]

54 percent

Percentage of Democratic-leaning voters who said they would support Hillary Clinton in a primary or caucus, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, up from 42 percent in September. [The Washington Post]

56 percent

Many Americans are full of nervous anticipation with Clinton’s appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi merely a day away. Or, maybe not. Americans don’t super care about the Benghazi investigation, with 56 percent reporting they were “not too closely” or “not at all closely” following the investigation. [FiveThirtyEight]

72 percent

Rep. Paul Ryan laid out his conditions for accepting the job of Speaker of the House yesterday. Mainly, he’d only accept the job if all the GOP factions get behind him. One of those factions is the Freedom Caucus, the group of hard-line conservatives who drove John Boehner out of the speaker job. The composition of this group is particularly interesting: 72 percent of them have served less than three terms, and none of them have been members of the institution for more than 10 terms. In the whole House of Representatives, those figures are 47 percent and 20 percent, respectively. [Pew Research Center]

97 percent

Percentage of Tesla owners surveyed by Consumer Reports who said they would purchase a Tesla again. Still, the consumer advocacy group said they decided to not recommend purchasing Tesla’s 2015 Model S sedan due to the car’s overall problem rate. It’s a huge blow to a car company that only last year obtained a perfect score for the model. [Re/Code]


Average weekly earnings for a full-time male worker in the third quarter, compared to $721 for women. The gender wage gap widened, with men seeing a 2.2 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year, while women only saw a 0.8 percent increase. [The Wall Street Journal]

1,000,000 trees

A program initiated by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to plant a million trees in the city will finally reach its goal Wednesday, when the millionth tree — a lacebark elm destined to reside in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx — will be planted with both the former mayor and current Hizzoner Bill de Blasio in attendance. [The New York Times]

$5.5 million

Sony Pictures will pay anywhere from $5.5 million to $8 million to put an end to a class action lawsuit from current and former employees who saw personal information leaked as a result of last year’s hack. The attorneys in the case will get about $3.5 million, while a $2 million fund will be set up to give up to $1,000 each to affected individuals. [The Hollywood Reporter]

$223 million

How much Yahoo paid in the third quarter in “traffic acquisition costs,” which is when a company pays for traffic to its website. That’s up from $54 million in the same quarter last year. Yahoo’s status as a crucial Internet hub appears to be in jeopardy. [Reuters]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.