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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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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