From Whispers, GOP Hopefuls Aim for a Roar

Backchannel back-stabbing on rise ahead of Iowa poll
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2007 3:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – With second-tier candidates sensing that Saturday's straw poll may be their last, best chance to stay in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Iowa is abuzz with whispering campaigns, Slate's John Dickerson says. The homegrown negative ads are a major tool for cash-poor politicians with names like Tancredo, Brownback and Huckabee.

The content is fairly benign, but the largely online efforts are the most effective way to spread opinions without spending money. Smearing is fruitful in today's climate because caucus voters are highly informed; even whispering directed toward a little-known candidate can be a boon, on the premise that if you're worthy of slander, you've arrived.