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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018

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

Up over 160 percent

Cryptocurrencies, which let’s just both pretend for the next paragraph or so that we understand what they are, have been getting destroyed, with a “crypto wipeout” since January totaling some $640 billion. Only one such currency has withstood the brutal trends recently, and it’s literally a joke. It’s called Dogecoin — you know, like the doges — and it’s up about 160 percent over the past month. Wow. So money. Such rich. [Bloomberg]

$2 a barrel

Ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence on the U.S. east coast, oil prices rose almost $2 a barrel, to about $69. Big storms can cause increases in fuel demand, increasing its price. “Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” a AAA spokesperson told the Financial Times. [Financial Times]

133 people of color

A remarkable fact from the 2018 midterm elections: White men are in the minority among Democratic House candidates. According to Politico’s analysis, Democrats have nominated 180 women, 133 people of color and 158 first-time candidates. [Politico]

934 inmates

Despite a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina Department of Corrections will not remove more than 934 inmates and more than 100 prison staff from the Ridgeland Correctional Institution, which sits near the coast and in the evacuation zone. “In the past, it’s been safer to leave them there,” a department spokesman said of the inmates. [The State]

96 clubs

The Union of European Football Associations (that’s soccer) has given the green light to the creation of a third European club competition, which would join the Champions League and its little sister the Europa League. The three competitions would include 96 teams total, 32 in each. It will likely be akin to a “Champions League-lite,” the Guardian reports, “with entry limited to teams from Europe’s weaker national leagues.” [The Guardian]

Below 40 percent

Two new polls — from CNN and Quinnipiac University — found that President Trump’s approval rating had dropped below 40 percent. Indeed, as I write this, FiveThirtyEight’s calculation sits at 39.9 percent. The Quinnipiac poll found that a majority of Americans (55 percent) do not believe that Trump is fit to serve as president. [USA Today]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s new book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s out on Oct. 9 — I hope you dig it.

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.