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It's a lot more stable for an element to have a half-full s-orbital and a completely full d-orbital than one missing from the d-orbital. I don't completely remember why, but Dr. Lavelle talked about it in class.
When you remove an electron from an atom that has a p-orbital (and no d-orbital), you remove it first from p and then from s. However, if you remove an electron from an atom that has a d-orbital, you remove it first from the s-orbital.
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