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A voter peels off an "I Voted" sticker after casting her ballot Nov. 6, 2018, in Mount Kisco, N.Y. (AP) A voter peels off an "I Voted" sticker after casting her ballot Nov. 6, 2018, in Mount Kisco, N.Y. (AP)

A voter peels off an "I Voted" sticker after casting her ballot Nov. 6, 2018, in Mount Kisco, N.Y. (AP)

Ellen Hine
By Ellen Hine January 20, 2024

MANCHESTER, N.H. — We’ve hit the halfway mark for PolitiFact’s pre-primaryNew Hampshire trip, and I almost can’t believe it. 

Friday was a travel day for most of our team, so Senior Correspondent Louis Jacobson and I had a respite from the breakneck pace we’ve kept for the last few days. We visited WMUR-TV in the morning so Lou could film one more hit there. 

 Senior Correspondant Louis Jacobson films a segment with our New Hampshire partner, WMUR-TV. (Ellen Hine/PolitiFact)

Friday’s topic was a claim by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who said at her Wednesday event in Rochester that former President Donald Trump "proposed when he was president" that "he wanted to raise the gas tax up to 25 cents." We say that’s Mostly False. Trump expressed lukewarm support for a 25-cent hike to the federal gasoline tax to help pay for infrastructure improvements. But he didn’t formalize the idea or pitch it to the public.

We’ve also checked Haley’s repeated claim that she has a 17-point national polling edge over President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ False claim that booster shots make a COVID-19 infection more likely.

 Lou is heading home after a long week of fact-checking in New Hampshire. (Ellen Hine/PolitiFact)

Lou had a flight home in the afternoon, so we said goodbye outside the station. But I wasn’t by myself in Manchester for too long. Senior Correspondent Amy Sherman and Staff Writer Maria Ramirez Uribe arrived later that evening. They’ll be anchoring our New Hampshire coverage until Tuesday’s election.

 Staff Writer Maria Ramirez Uribe, left joined me and Senior Correspondent Amy Sherman on Friday in Manchester., N.H. (Ellen Hine/PolitiFact)

Because Friday was a bit of a slower day, I thought it would be a good idea to slow it down a bit and take a big-picture look at our coverage for 2024.

You might remember that when I told you PolitiFact was traveling to New Hampshire, I also asked for your help. Both in our newsletter and on Instagram, I asked readers a few questions: 

  • How are you feeling about this election year? What issues are on your mind?

  • What do you find confusing about the 2024 election? What do you want to learn more about?

  • What do you want to know about PolitiFact or fact-checking in general? Is there anything you don’t understand about our process that you’d like to know more about?

I asked these questions because, as public service journalists, we want to make sure our work is useful to you. Here are some of the answers I received. 

You want to know how we find our facts

Readers told me they wanted to know more about how we decide what’s a fact.

"Can you provide a bit more info on how you source facts, verify that what you report is accurate, etc." one wrote. 

An Instagram user asked, "How do you know you’re finding the most reliable sources?"

You can learn more about how we decide which claims to fact-check on our website, but I handed these questions over to Lou to answer. 

You care about democracy

Readers shared many different issues they cared about going into 2024: abortion rights, immigration, conflict in the Middle East, housing and LGBTQ+ rights. Many said they wanted more insight into why some voters remain loyal to former President Donald Trump and expressed frustration with the Democratic Party for not having strong enough messaging. 

But a running theme through many of the emails and comments I received was concern about the state of democracy.

"Normally I would be looking forward to vote, but with so much misinformation and voters who believe in the lies & BS being spread on the Republican side by the frontrunner, it’s VERY worrisome," another newsletter reader wrote.

When I asked our Instagram followers to list their top issues for 2024, I got responses such as, "Preserving democracy," "Ease and safety of voting, proper representation of districts," and "Civility, respect and protecting democracy."

"At this time I can honestly say that I am frightened," one reader told me. "I feel like our democracy is in real trouble! Am I wrong about this?"

Further down in the message, the same reader said, "I like to be informed but feel a sense of burnout from all the ‘noise.’ I really care and have never seen such polarization!"

Helping people be informed participants in democracy is the reason we publish here at PolitiFact. We know it can be hard, sometimes downright exhausting, to try to find accurate information in a sea of rhetoric. 

But you’re not in this alone. If you hear something you think sounds suspicious, send it our way at [email protected] so we can investigate it for you. 

And if you want to help us disrupt the misdirecting agendas of politicians across the ideological spectrum, share our stories with your friends or family or donate to our nonprofit newsroom. 

Some sad news: This will be my last update from New Hampshire, but my teammates who are staying through the election will be sending you updates throughout the weekend. If you're signed up for PolitiFact Daily, I’ll be back in your inbox sometime next week.

 Thanks for coming along on this journey with me, readers! (Ellen Hine/PolitiFact)

As I’ve mentioned before, this is my first time covering a presidential election. This week has been an incredible learning experience, one I will never forget. Thank you so much for joining me on this trip, readers! 

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