murder-suicide
(MUR.dur SOO.uh.syd) n. In politics, negative campaigning that damages both the targeted opponent and the politician who initiated the campaign.

Example Citation:
A candidate's shelling of an opponent often ricochets back on himself. A classic example was the 1998 "murder-suicide" — a characterization coined by Davis strategist Garry South — when gubernatorial aspirant Al Checchi destroyed both his and Rep. Jane Harman's candidacies with relentless attack ads.
—George Skelton, "Davis' Problem: Attack Ads Offer High Reward but Carry High Risk," Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Checchi once claimed he'd rather lose the election than ''go negative.'' But he never said what he'd do if he fell behind in the polls. When he did, he went negative with a vengeance first against Harman and then against Davis. ... A second apparent unintended consequence of Checchi's anti-Harman advertising blitz was creating an opening for the underfinanced seeming also-ran Davis, who vaulted past Checchi in the polls as Harman was falling behind.

''Basically, what you have here is a murder-suicide,'' said Davis campaign manager Garry South. ''Checchi killed Jane Harman, but the collateral damage from those attacks killed him.''
—John Marelius, "Negative campaign appears to backfire," Copley News Service, May 31, 1998

Notes:
The above citation credits political strategist Garry South with coining this phrase, and the earliest citation confirms this.

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