ConVal High School teacher Greg Leonard knows that this election cycle has been unlike any other that the country has ever experienced. And he wants to make sure that his students understand that while politics is seldom pleasant, “this year it seems like it’s at a different level and a different pitch.”
On the Republican side, there was an exceptionally grueling primary campaign which saw 16 presidential hopefuls, the largest-ever field of candidates, lose to the eventual nominee, a Washington outsider. The Democratic side, too, experienced a very close primary race down to the Convention finish, a contest which raised questions about the role of party superdelegates in determining the outcome.
The actual presidential campaign that followed the primaries was marked by an exceptionally harsh tone, with unprecedented accusations and counter-accusations on both sides, high unfavorable ratings for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and the unparalleled rise of social media use in presidential elections, especially Twitter.
On Friday, Rick Ganley and Michael Brindley of New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) explored the question “How NH Civics Teachers Handled A Presidential Campaign Unlike Any Other” on Morning Edition. ConVal’s Greg Leonard was one of three social studies teachers interviewed for the story.