Mudslinging

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Mudslinging'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Mudslinging'


Negative campaigning, also known more colloquially as "mudslinging", is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent or of a policy rather than emphasizing one's own positive attributes or preferred policies. In the broadest sense, the term covers any rhetoric which refers to an opponent, if only by way of contrast, but can also include attacks meant to destroy an opponent's character, which may veer into ad hominem.

Negative campaigning can be found in most marketplaces where ideas are contested. In U.S. politics, "mudslinging" has been called "as American as Mississippi mud". Some research suggests negative campaigning is the norm in all political venues, mitigated only by the dynamics of a particular contest.

There are a number of techniques used in negative campaigning. Among the most effective is running advertisements attacking an opponent's personality, record, or opinion. There are two main types of ads used in negative campaigning: attack and contrast.

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