It’s hard to run for office – even in high school. And the campaign for student body president at Stuyvesant, perhaps the most prestigious public high school in the country, is almost as sophisticated as any presidential election. Candidates must choose running mates, navigate primaries, write political platforms, perform in televised debates, shake as many hands as possible, and win newspaper endorsements. But unlike presidential candidates, they also have to do their homework, take their SATs and write their college applications.
FRONTRUNNERS follows the recent elections at the country’s most competitive high school, exploring how politics works at a nascent level. As the race unfolds, it takes on undertones familiar to anyone who has watched a national election — revealing that teenagers have an implicit understanding of how strategy, race, gender, personality, platforms, charisma, and hairstyle figure into a winning campaign.