TASK: Clinton’s and Trump’s Campaign Managers on the Ground

In this task, you will...
    • stage a policy debate between spokespersons of the two candidates’ campaigns in your state.
    • debate three of the most pressing election issues in your adopted state.

Clinton’s and Trump’s Campaign Managers on the Ground  


The election campaign is in full swing and your state’s largest TV station is hosting a debate between the coordinators of Trump’s and Clinton’s local campaign offices. The debate will cover the three most important campaign issues in your state (as indicated by a poll).



In class, discuss which campaign issues and topics might be most important to your state’s residents. Use the state fact sheet and the report of the 50 State Project for help. Decide on the three most important issues in your state. 

Our state’s three most pressing campaign issues:

1. _________________________

2. _________________________

3. _________________________

Review your course’s findings on where the candidates stand on specific issues from the ★ TASK: The Campaign Issues and Where the Candidates Stand.


You will be assigned one of these roles:

  • two local journalists
  • state campaign coordinator for Hillary Clinton
  • state campaign coordinator for Donald Trump


Preparing your role

Meet with your candidate’s other campaign coordinators and decide who will cover which of the three campaign issues (there might be more than one student covering the same issue for a candidate). Based on your knowledge of your state and your candidate’s position on the three issues, prepare arguments for the debate. Also, think of potential arguments that your opponents might use during the debate and prepare counter-arguments.  If you assume the role of the moderator, think of potential opening questions and questions to ask in case the debate stagnates.  


The debate

The debate will follow the structure of a fishbowl discussion: You have an inner circle with the discussants and moderators and an outer circle of observers. The observers can switch seats with the discussants by tipping on their shoulder or being called upon by the moderators.

The debate will begin with the introduction by the moderators and then cover the three campaign topics, allowing both sides to state their arguments and counter-arguments. The moderators will decide whether to ask follow-up questions regarding the campaign issue or to move on to the next topic.



  Self-study tips for this task    Taking part in discussions    Golden rules of cooperation