november's spike was probably very much related to the US presidential election, but also to other elections held in the rest of the world (yes, the rest of the world exists. and they have presidents. it's hard to remember that sometimes).
games traffic going down is probably another big factor.
i can't say for certain, but it seems to me that there are as many new people as there ever were. but, i don't have the data for that, so i only present it as a weak opinion.