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Voters Across The Nation Share How The 2016 Election Is Different

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's no doubt this is a historic election with the first woman nominee from a major party. But 2016 is different in other ways, too.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

That woman nominee took out a socialist on her way to the top of the Democratic ticket, and a New York City real estate executive and reality TV show star beat out more than a dozen party politicians to win the Republican nomination.

CORNISH: Voters have noticed. Ralph Fletcher, a retiree from Auburn, Maine, had an inkling early on that this would be an unusual election.

RALPH FLETCHER: When Trump started to knock off the other 15 or 16 Republican hopefuls, I thought, holy smokes. This is truly going in a different direction than ever before.

MCEVERS: For Drew Kemp, a student at West Los Angeles College in California, it was the way Donald Trump spoke to those other candidates that set this election year apart.

DREW KEMP: When I was watching during the Republican primaries one of the debates and Donald Trump called Marco Rubio little Marco, I think that was the point where I was like, oh, we just don't care anymore.

CORNISH: But Donald Trump's style is what some voters appreciated this year, like Netha Wise, a small business owner from Sioux City, Iowa.

NETHA WISE: For me, it feels different just because it feels like there's hope, somebody that has the guts to actually stand up and call things out and confront and deal with things.

CORNISH: Kevin Block in Sioux City agreed.

KEVIN BLOCK: I think they're taking all the B.S. out of it, getting down to the bones of what the American people actually feel on all the issues. I mean, he's getting people to talk about stuff that they - we talk around the dinner table, but they're not talking in politics.

MCEVERS: But it was the tone of the conversation this year that bothered Leslie Sandigo, a student at the University of North Texas.

LESLIE SANDIGO: I feel like there's a lot more tension between the people if you're against Trump or against Hillary. Like, I know that I have unfriended people on Facebook and people have unfriended me just for the things - the articles or things that they state, videos that they share trying to justify their presidential candidate.

CORNISH: Sixty-year-old Texan J.C. Copeland said he didn't appreciate the divisiveness of this campaign season, so he has this Election Day advice to offer.

J C COPELAND: United States is based on staying together, sticking together, so we need to hear what you're going to do for the country. Vote for the person that you feel like is the best candidate, not because somebody done told you to vote Democrat or to vote Republican. Vote for who you feel like is the best candidate for president. And that's what I do.

MCEVERS: That's 60-year-old voter J.C. Copeland in Fort Worth. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.