» 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 in which one refers to one's opponent in an ad hominem manner.
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.