Full course description

Starts October 19, 2015

It's been 100 years since New Hampshire held its first presidential primary, and the story of this preeminent political contest is packed with colorful personalities and interesting anecdotes. In this course you'll learn about the history of the presidential nomination process, the role New Hampshire plays in the media's coverage of elections and how the state is often a proving ground for unknown candidates and fledgling political operatives.

Through a combination of video lectures, interactive activities and online discussions, we will explore the unique qualities of New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation presidential primary and its impact on how the United States picks its presidents.

Dante Scala and Andy Smith are go-to sources for anyone curious about New Hampshire's presidential primary. Journalists around the world have them on speed dial. The books they've written are must-reads for political junkies. They've spent decades pondering the who, what and why of the primary. Scala and Smith are also funny and adept at explaining complex electoral issues to a general audience.

This course is appropriate for political junkies of all ages, but we've included special materials for high school and middle school teachers who would like to use parts of this course in their classrooms.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate. In addition to online discussions, students will be invited to participate in real-time social media chats with the instructors. We may also host some face-to-face events in the fall.

Dante Scala

Dante J. Scala

Associate Professor of Political Science

Dante J. Scala is an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. His research focuses on campaigns and elections, as well as campaign finance. He is a nationally recognized commentator on New Hampshire politics and presidential nomination contests.

Andrew Smith

Andrew E. Smith

Associate Professor of Practice in Political Science, and Director of the UNH Survey Center

Andrew E. Smith is an associate professor of practice in the department of political science at the University of New Hampshire. He also has been director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center since 1999 and is nationally known for public opinion polling. His research focuses on elections, public opinion, and the presidential nomination process. He is co-author of an upcoming book on the New Hampshire primary.