Is running a fake campaign to siphon votes legal?
Let's say you want run for office as an independent candidate in a congressional or state legislative district that is expected to be a close election.
You run a quiet campaign for the purpose of winning votes from more ideological extreme members of the other party. A Republican ghost candidate would say something like "this Democrat votes against X progressive policy"; something that is factually correct, but is faked in order to get votes. A Democrat may say something like "Trump won, if you want to decertify the election vote for me".
Is it legal to run a sham campaign as an independent on paper or minor party candidate and advertise yourself quietly to swing close elections? Specifically I'm asking if the idea of lying about your political positions to get votes and potentially swing an election.