To bolster his status in the polls for the Republican primary in New Hampshire — in which the incumbent president leads challenger Bill Weld by 81 points — Trump held a rally in Manchester on Monday night, where he reiterated a debunked claim that voters from Massachusetts drove up to the Granite State to vote in 2016. “Remember last time?,” Trump asked the crowd at Southern New Hampshire University. “We won the primary tremendously. We should’ve won the [general] election, but they had buses being shipped up from Massachusetts, hundreds and hundreds. And it was very close, even though they did.”
Trump lost the popular vote in New Hampshire by less than 3,000 votes — though his opponent did not need the aid of voters driving over the border to pull off the win. (And as anyone from New England knows, the only real reason for someone from Massachusetts to sneak up to New Hampshire for a day of surreptitious action is to buy fireworks and then hop back on I-93.) Though the New Hampshire secretary of state and attorney general did not find any evidence of widespread voter fraud in 2016, that did not stop Trump and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller from complaining about it early in the administration.
“I can tell you that this issue of busing voters in to New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics,” Miller told ABC’s This Week in February 2017. He added, “This morning on this show is not the venue for me to lay out all the evidence.” Despite a lack of proof for the claim, Republicans have pointed to New Hampshire as a possible site of voter fraud due to the state’s same-day registration law, which allows residents to register at their polling place on Election Day. Already in Iowa, GOP allies have forwarded false accounts of voter fraud, which have been debunked by the secretary of state:
The suggestion of past voter fraud wasn’t the only example of misinformation at Trump’s Monday rally: He also miscounted the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, suggested Mexico is “paying for the wall,” and appeared to get his Revolutionary-era history mixed up: