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Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Glezman. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

The biggest polling story of this week centers around Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, as the 37-year old Afghanistan war veteran picked up his best national result yet with a 4% tally in the Quinnipiac Poll.

Why it matters: "A jump of 3 points may not seem like a lot, but, because the margin of error shrinks significantly the closer you get to 0, the move from 1% to 4% is likely statistically significant," CNN's Harry Enten notes.

By the numbers: This week's new polls showed a pretty stable race.

  • Quinnipiac: Biden (29), Sanders (19), O'Rouke (12), Harris (8), Buttigieg and Warren (4), Booker and Klobuchar (2), Castro and Hickenlooper (1)
  • Morning Consult: Biden (35), Sanders (25), Harris and O'Rouke (8), Warren (7), Booker (4), Klobuchar and Buttigieg (2), Gillibrand (1)

Flashback: At this stage of the 2015 GOP presidential primary, Donald Trump wasn't even in the polling average:

  • Tied at 1) Jeb Bush and Scott Walker; 3) Ben Carson; 4) Mike Huckabee; 5) Rand Paul.

Between the lines: "[C]andidates who receive more attention from the media are likely to receive more interest in [Google] searches. That's not the case for Buttigieg," CNN writes.

  • "Buttigieg is receiving a lot of search interest on Google ... More people have searched his name in the past two weeks than the prior 93 weeks combined."
  • "When you take into account Buttigieg's lack of name recognition with his current upturn, it suggests that he has a lot of room to grow."

The bottom line: "You Google a person because you want to learn more about them, not necessarily because you’re already sold on voting for them," FiveThirtyEight election analyst Nathaniel Rakich wrote.

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

4 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

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