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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THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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