The numbers for November 3, 2014

Tony Wagner Nov 3, 2014

Tomorrow is election Tuesday, and a bunch of super PACs, nonprofits and outside groups have sprouted up to give last-ditch, six-figure cash injections to key campaigns.

The New York Times found at least 90 groups that hadn’t spend anything before October. Eighteen of them didn’t even exist before September, and have now spent $9 million all together. Many of these groups have vague names and some are spending far more than they had on October 15, the last day before the election to disclose contributions. This flurry of activity means voters won’t know who’s buying up ad space and deploying automated calls until after the election.

After a weekend stumping in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, President Barack Obama will return to Washington and meet with Fed Chair Janet Yellen for the first time one-on-one. Here are some other stories we’re reading — and numbers we’re watching — Monday:


That’s how many more people may have gone to the polls in 2010 thanks to Facebook’s “I voted” button the appeared on users’ News Feeds. It turns out the tool has been used to experiment on users’ voting patterns for the past several elections, Mother Jones reported, and a paper in Nature by Facebook data scientists and others posits that the site is actively stoking civic engagement. Additionally, the site reportedly ran experiments to test whether users with more news stories in their feed were more likely to say they had voted.

26 percent

The average profit margin for BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Chevron over the past year, down nine points from a decade ago, when crude was about half the price, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prices sunk to $70 a barrel last quarter, and the big oil companies are scaling back projects and selling assets.

1.3 million

The number of copies Taylor Swift’s “1989” is projected to sell in its first week, with the final tally out Wednesday. Passing that mark would give “1989” the best first-week sales of any album since 2002, breaking Britney Spears’ record for first-week sales by a female artist and giving this year its very first platinum album, Billboard reported.

To further capitalize on these big sales, Swift’s back catalog has been pulled off Spotify, and the company isn’t breaking up gracefully. They’ve made two playlists, one called “Come Back, Taylor!” and noted that 16 million users have played her songs in the past month.

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