I moved a busload of smear merchants into a state-sorry to keep breaking things, guys, but I like to test stuff-and managed to bottom out my opponent's issue rating at -200ish. The reasons I would assume this is a bug are many, and are as follows. Firstly, the -1148975007 shown for multiplying the issue score by the awareness leads me to believe something's wrong, and possibly overflowing. Secondly, this does not appear to change when I move my smear merchants out of a state-in effect granting me the ability to do this in any state I like with only one set of smear merchants. Thirdly, moving spin doctors in after doing this actually leads to a decline in my projected %, even though my issue score continues to increase.
I had another reason but I can't remember it at the moment.