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FactChecking Trump’s New Hampshire Victory Speech

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Following his projected win in New Hampshire’s GOP primary on Jan. 23, former President Donald Trump gave a speech that included distorted claims about the state’s primary rules, his election record in New Hampshire, his Republican opponent’s general election prospects and Democrats’ tax plans.

  • Trump misleadingly claimed that “they accept Democrats to vote” in New Hampshire’s Republican primary. Only people registered as Republican or undeclared can vote in the primary, and the deadline for Democrats to switch their party affiliation was Oct. 6.
  • Trump falsely suggested that he won both general elections in New Hampshire in 2016 and 2020. He lost both races.
  • He falsely claimed that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley “doesn’t win” in general election polls against President Joe Biden. In 17 polls over the last three months, Haley topped Biden in eight polls and fared better against Biden than Trump in seven of them.
  • Trump claimed Democrats “want to raise your taxes times four,” but neither Biden nor Democratic leaders in Congress have supported such an idea. The Tax Policy Center said Biden’s 2024 budget would, on average, increase after-tax incomes for low-income households and “leave them effectively unchanged for middle-income households.”
  • He then claimed that Democrats “want to let” his 2017 tax cuts “expire,” even though Biden has proposed extending the tax cuts for people making less than $400,000.

Trump also repeated false claims about illegal immigration and the 2020 election that we’ve addressed many times before.

Party Switching

Early in his remarks, Trump made the misleading claim that Democrats voted in the primary election.

“Tremendous numbers of independents came out because in this state, because you have a governor that doesn’t frankly know what the hell he’s doing,” Trump said. “In this state, in the Republican primary, they accept Democrats to vote. In fact, I think they had 4,000 Democrats before Oct. 6. They already voted. Now, they’re already voting because they want to make me look as bad as possible.”

Former President Donald Trump on stage with supporters, campaign staff and family members for a primary night party on Jan. 23, in Nashua, New Hampshire. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Technically, Trump is wrong, because registered Democrats can’t vote in the state’s GOP primary.

In order to participate, voters have to be registered as a Republican or undeclared, otherwise known as an independent. The deadline for voters to switch their party affiliation was Oct. 6. 

It’s true that about 4,000 Democrats reportedly switched their registration ahead of the deadline – with 3,542 switching to undeclared and 408 to Republican.

But it’s not clear how many changed their registration just to be able to vote against Trump, nor is it clear how many of them ultimately cast a ballot. As of Jan. 19, the 3,950 people who changed their party affiliation to Republican or undeclared by Oct. 6 made up less than 0.7% of the registered voters eligible to vote in the GOP primary.

Furthermore, New Hampshire has long allowed undeclared voters to vote in the state’s Republican or Democratic presidential primaries – contrary to Trump’s suggestion that this was the doing of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who took office in 2017.

Trump Lost New Hampshire to Clinton and Biden

Trump falsely suggested that he won both general elections in New Hampshire in 2016 and 2020.

“This is a great, great state,” Trump said. “We won New Hampshire three times now, and we win it every time. We win the primary, we win the generals.”

Although he won the New Hampshire primaries in 2016 and 2020, Trump did not “win the generals” in either year.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Trump in New Hampshire. The Democratic nominee received 348,526 votes — just 2,736 votes more than Trump. She lost in six of the state’s 10 counties.

Trump suffered a more resounding loss in 2020, when Biden won the state by nearly 60,000 votes. In that year, Trump won only two counties.

The former president has a history of baselessly blaming his general election losses in New Hampshire on fraud. In November 2016, he complained of “serious voter fraud” in New Hampshire in a tweet. Three months later, as Politico reported, Trump told Republican senators that he would have won the state in 2016, but “thousands” of ineligible voters were bussed in from neighboring Massachusetts.

David Scanlan, then-deputy secretary of state for New Hampshire, told us at the time that his office did not have “any evidence of any organized effort from another state to send people to try to change the outcome of the vote.”

General Election Polling

Trump also exaggerated polling data for head-to-head general election matchups between Biden and the last two remaining major Republican Party candidates — Trump and Haley.

Trump criticized Haley for suggesting that she had a better chance of beating Biden in the general election. He claimed that he has “won almost every single poll in the last three months” against Biden, while Haley “doesn’t win those polls.”

In fact, Haley does “win those polls” — at least some of them.

We found 17 polls taken over the last three months, from Oct. 18 through Jan. 18, that surveyed voters about head-to-head matchups between both Trump and Biden and Haley and Biden. Trump polled better than Biden in 15 of the 17 common polls, but Haley also topped Biden in eight of the 17 polls — though several polls were a statistical tie because of the margin of error.

In seven of the 17 polls, Haley fared better against Biden than Trump.

So, Trump can make the case — based on these 17 common polls — that he is a stronger candidate than Haley in a general election against Biden. But Haley does top Biden in nearly half of the 17 polls, contrary to Trump’s claim that “she doesn’t win those polls.”

Also, it’s worth noting that the polls show a close race — regardless of the Republican nominee.

The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Trump ahead of Biden by 3.8 percentage points, based on polling from Jan. 3 through Jan. 23, while Haley is ahead by 1.1 percentage points, based on polling from Dec. 10 through Jan. 18.

Democratic Tax Proposals

When talking about “the damage” he said Biden “has done to our wonderful country,” Trump falsely claimed that Democrats want to quadruple taxes on Americans, and he suggested they’d get rid of all the tax cuts Trump signed into law in 2017.

“They must hate our country because there’s no other reason that they can be doing the things they do,” Trump said. “Take a look, the taxes, they want to raise your taxes times four. They want to let the Trump tax cuts, the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country, they want them to expire.”

But Democrats in congressional leadership — and certainly Biden — have not proposed raising taxes by anywhere near that much.  

As we wrote in 2020, when Trump made a similar claim, Biden then proposed collecting an additional $4 trillion in taxes over 10 years, which “would fall mainly on very high-income earners and corporations, and would not nearly double, let alone triple or quadruple, people’s taxes at any income level (on average), according to analyses of Biden’s plan by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, the Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation.”

An expert told us that in some rare cases taxpayers inheriting capital assets could see their federal taxes double or triple under Biden’s plan. But in most cases, the tax increases would be less than 6%, while even the wealthiest top 1% of earners would see their tax burden increase by 40%, on average, according to the Tax Policy Center.

More recently, the TPC’s Howard Gleckman wrote that Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal “would lower after-tax incomes by an average of about $2,300” in 2024. 

However, “[h]is plan would raise average after-tax incomes for low-income households in 2024, leave them effectively unchanged for middle-income households, and lower after-tax incomes significantly for the highest-income taxpayers,” Gleckman said in his March 2023 post.

As for Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which were not the “biggest” in history, Biden does support extending some of them, specifically those helping people earning less than $400,000. 

Biden’s FY 2024 budget proposal says Republicans chose to “deliberately sunset portions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017″ after 2025 to “conceal both the true increase in the deficit” and the “true size of their tax breaks for multi-millionaires and large corporations.” However, the proposal says Biden “will work with the Congress to address the 2025 expirations, and focus tax policy on rewarding work not wealth.”

It highlights Biden’s opposition to increasing taxes on people earning less than $400,000 and his opposition to cutting taxes for the wealthy. 

Biden, the budget says, “[s]upports additional reforms to ensure that wealthy people and big corporations pay their fair share, so that America pays for the continuation of tax cuts for people earning less than $400,000 in a fiscally responsible manner and address the problematic sunsets created by President Trump and congressional Republicans.”


Trump continued to make false and misleading claims that we’ve already debunked.

  • He said, “four years ago we had the safest, best border in the United States.” Apprehensions of those trying to cross the U.S. southern border illegally have gone up under Biden, but there were still more apprehensions during Trump’s presidency than either of Barack Obama’s two terms as president.
  • He repeated the whopper that “we have millions and millions of people flowing into our country illegally” and “they come from prisons and they come from mental institutions.” Immigration experts told us there’s no evidence that millions of migrants coming to the U.S. are inmates and people with mental illness. One expert said Trump’s claim appeared to be “a total fabrication.”
  • Finally, he claimed yet again that he “won in 2020.” Biden won the presidential election that year, after receiving more electoral and popular votes than Trump.

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