Four Numbers That Made Me Blink


First Number

This is the opening paragraph from “Suicide Squad Kills with $135 Million Debut,” an article written by Patrick Ryan for USA Today:

“The critically maligned supervillain team-up scored the biggest August debut ever with $135.1 million at the weekend box office, according to tracking firm comScore. Its No. 1 opening smashes a record set by Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 when that Disney/Marvel movie blasted off with $94.3 million on its way to $333.2 million. It also narrowly outpaced February’s opening of another dark superhero comedy, Deadpool, which started with $132.4 million and much stronger reviews (84% positive on, compared with Suicide‘s 26% approval rating).”

This number how nothing to do with the other three numbers, but it does, I think, provide an appropriate tonal frame in which to consider them.


Second Number

These are the opening paragraphs from “Former KKK Leader David Duke Is Polling Better with Black Voters than Donald Trump,” written by Caroline Simon for Business Insider:

“David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who recently announced he’s running for US Senate, has the support of 14% of black voters in his home state of Louisiana, according to apoll from the University of New Orleans’ Survey Research Center.

“That number might seem low, but Duke is actually doing relatively well with the group compared to another controversial person seeking office this year—Donald Trump.

“The Survey Research Center poll does come with a few caveats: it was landline-only, excluding the significant number of Louisianans who only have cell phones. It also did not ask voters directly compare Duke to Trump or any other candidate.

“But Donald Trump is polling dismally among black voters. According to the most recent round of national polls, he’s hovering in the low single digits: 1% in a WSJ/NBC poll, 2% in a Marist poll, and 4% in a Fox News Poll.

“An NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Marist poll in June famously found that 0% of voters in key swing states Pennsylvania and Ohio support him.”


Third Number

Polling of Voters under 30


Fourth Number

This is the opening paragraph from an article for Business Insider written by Matthew Nitch Smith:

“Betting company Ladbrokes has slashed the odds of Donald Trump being replaced as the Republican candidate, from 16/1 to 6/1, following a bad week of campaigning.”


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