Podcast: The Dirtiest Campaigns in American History


KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 15, 2020) — Russian interference, bigamy, and actual body counts – that’s not the latest spy novel. It’s a list of claims in historical elections. Find out more in this month’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Thought Provoking podcast as host Shelly Kiser, Communications Manager, talks with Kerwin Swint, Ph.D., professor of political science and director of the School of Government and International Affairs here at Kennesaw State University, about his research on mudslinging and dirty campaigns.

This month’s episode covers elections in history where opponents’ mothers were called prostitutes, wives died from the strain of the negative campaigning, and even one of the giants of American history, Abraham Lincoln, got called some brutal names.

We discuss the viciousness during Lincoln’s re-election campaign and how a battle in Georgia led to his victory, when they were certain he would lose. Swint also talks about the last openly racist campaign in America and how Richard Nixon, a Republican, came to donate to the campaign of a Democrat. In addition, Swint tells us how recent contentious presidential elections would rank in the dirtiest campaigns in American history.

Click here to learn more about Swint’s research.

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