You might be in for shock but political campaign are not at their dirtiest. They may be getting dirtier in recent years but that's nothing compared to some of the dirtiest campaigns. Even our esteemed Founding Fathers dug out the dirt and slung the mud. See this article for some interesting notes from the Jefferson-Adams campaign and the Jackson-Adams campaigns.
Jackson simply made up stories about John Quincy Adams procuring prostitutes for the Russian Czar. Adams pointed out that Jackson's wife was married when she ran off with Jackson. I guess now-a-days this kind of philandering would be a badge of honor but back then it was a big deal.
And if all else failed, campaigns simply said their opponent died. Back then it could take months to get word out to everyone so the campaigns just printed up slander just before the election so their opponent couldn't respond.
Funny...in a sad kinda way.