Thursday Numbers

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar. – Abraham Lincoln

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.

This week’s topics include unemployment, data breaches, U.S. House debate, Cubs, Pence vs. Kaine, voter turnout in GF, VP poll results, the hospital bill, fundraising, Rex the beagle, and much more!


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. (USDOL)


That’s how many victims of data breaches there were in Montana the last year. (Billings Gazette)

Those breaches came from 280 businesses.


The Great Falls Tribune is reporting that “More than 300 people attended” the U.S. House debate in Great Falls Wednesday evening between Ryan Zinke, Denise Juneau, and Rick Breckenridge.

Who do you think won the debate? The Western Word poll is still open for voting. Click HERE.


That’s how many years it has been since the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. (AP)

Since the Royals and Cards are out of it, I’ll be cheering for the Cubbies.


Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, interrupted Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, 70 times Tuesday night, including 27 times in just the first 30 minutes. Pence interrupted Kaine a total of 40 times. (ABC News)

The debate commission needs to do something to prevent the interruptions.


That was the voter turnout (65%) in Great Falls for the recent school bond election. (MTN)

Thanks to all who voted for the levies!


That’s the percentage of people who participated in The Western Word poll and who thought Mike Pence won the vice presidential debate Tuesday night. Tim Kaine took 35% of the vote and 5% felt the debate was a tie.

Thanks for all who took the time to vote! The results of the Montana U.S. House debate poll will be released Friday in the Caught My Eye column.


That was a charge on the hospital bill Ryan Grassley received after the birth of his son. The charge was for “skin to skin” contact after his wife gave birth via cesarean section. (AP)

The AP reports that the fee technically wasn’t for Grassley to hold his baby, but to have an additional nurse present in the hospital recovery room for C-section patients to ensure mother and baby were safe.


In a fundraising email received Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock’s campaign says, “Six days from now, Montanans will begin marking their ballots for either Steve or Greg Gianforte.”

They also wanted me to pitch in $15…


A 2-year-old beagle named Rex took off after a rabbit at Hillcrest Dog Park in Grand Rapids, Mich. But when he came back, he was sneezing and had a bloody nose. Rex continued to have problems and after about six months, his vet did a CT scan and discovered that Rex had a five-inch stick stuck in his nose. (USA Today)

Rex is doing fine now. If he’s like my beagle, he’s probably either looking for or dreaming of food right now…


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  1. Various numbers, FWIW

    We’ll start with Zinke’s poll. The Moore Information survey from early October gives him a wide 49-38 lead, and Zinke’s camp says that three other polls conducted for them since June show similar things. Juneua’s team soon released a Harstad Strategic Research poll that also showed Zinke ahead, but by just 45-42. The poll was conducted Sept. 20-25, about a week before Zinke. They also reference an unreleased Democratic survey from a different pollster, GBA Strategies, that reportedly showed Zinke up 49-41 in mid-September. Presidential toplines were not included for any of these three polls. (Frustratingly, they also didn’t include any numbers for Montana’s gubernatorial race, where we have yet to see a single poll all year.)

    • Doug – thanks. I never put much trust in polls released by the candidates. I do personally know the head of one of the polling firms mentioned and trust his work, but I don’t trust the candidates to give out the whole story.
      I think we’ll see some public polls soon. I remember when we could count on newspapers to do polling. Thanks, JmB

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