Here is the answer to this morning’s mystery chart:

  • Incumbent presidents lose reelection if economic growth dips below zero in either the election year or the year before.
  • Otherwise they win.
  • This rule has been 100 percent accurate for every incumbent since 1950.

Economic growth did not fall below zero last year and it is not going to fall below zero this year. This means that Donald Trump has a strong wind at his back and will be hard to beat in November. I sure hope liberals are all aware of this and are willing to work their guts out no matter how discouraged they may get from time to time. This includes being discouraged because your candidate didn’t win the primary; because your policies are not getting the priority you’d like; because things look dire in the Senate races; because the polls sometimes show spikes in favor of Trump; and because of general angst over how things are going.

If you ever think of giving up, just remember 2016. All the way until a couple of weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump looked like a sure loser. Two days before Election Day he looked like a nearly sure loser. But he never gave up. And he won. Stuff happens. If he can do it, so can we.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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