Mudslinging, like all sports, has both major and minor leagues. The objective, like Survivor and similar shows on television, allows the audience decide the winner in each round leading to a finale.
The opponents in the major leagues, the national area, have teams that sling the mud while the opponents move around to avoid being hit. At times, it is quite a feat. They employ various tactics including dodging the mud so it deflects and hits a lessor opponent on the field of play. Or, they get a last-minute timeout that, once imposed, requires a replay of events. These opponents are slick and crafty. Even when hit by unavoidable flying mud, they can look squeaky clean!
Some of the better throwers are afraid to enter the field of play themselves as they know the mud will stick if they are hit and the truth will be known. Some just like to call the shots. The loser is not necessarily the muddiest opponent in the final round, but most often the player who has dodged the most mud.
Mud comes in many forms and good players know how to craft a solid ball. It cannot be too slippery or it will not stick on a worthy opponent. Too dry and the mud and valuable points will break apart, denying the intended impact, even if it lands squarely on the opponent. A perfectly formed mud-ball can injure an opponent and sometimes they never recover and leave the field of battle in disgrace.
Minor league play is by far a more enjoyable sport to watch and to participate. Here, with smaller budgets, most often the players sling the mud themselves and their inexperience often shows in the size and quality of mud. Often the aim is poor. Shots fall short or over-shoot their mark. It's like watching two pigs in a poke. Each rolls around trying to gain an advantage and at the same time both are covered from head to foot in mud. Usually neither does win.
To actually determine the winner prior to the tallying process and casting your vote, look for the tale-tell signs; not the dirtiest player, but the one who has dirt on his hands and under their nails.
Know who is going to be best for the public and choose accordingly.
Mark Johnson is president of the Hernando County Democratic Club.