Think of California's Santa Barbara County and you might picture the area's famous beaches or resorts and wineries. But in the northern reaches of the vast county, oil production has been a major contributor to the economy for almost a century.
So it's no surprise that the oil industry there is feverishly organizing to fight a local ballot initiative — Measure P — that would ban controversial drilling methods such as hydraulic fracturing. What is turning heads, however, is the sheer volume of money flooding into this local race, mainly from large oil companies.
But relatively, it's upper-midpack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report "Trends in International Migrant Stock."
Two new reports find that the House and Senate elections will cost about $3.7 billion — up just slightly from the past two election cycles — with outside groups buying their largest share yet of the television advertising.