A Model of Candidate Location When One Candidate Has a Valence Advantage

  • Groseclose T
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This article extends the Calvert-Wittman candidate-location model by allowing one candidate to have a valence advantage over the other, due to, say, superior character, charisma, name recognition, or intelligence. Under some fairly weak assumptions, I show that when one candidate has a small advantage over the other, this alters equilibrium policy positionsin two ways. First, it causes the disadvantaged candidate to move away from the center. Second, and perhaps more suprising, it causes the advantaged candidate to move toward the center. I also show that, under some weak assumptions, for all levels of the valence advantage, the advantaged candidate chooses a more moderate position than the disadvantaged candidate. Empricial studies if congressional elections by Fiorina (1973), and Ansolabehere, Snyder, and Stewart (2001) support this result.

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  • Tim Groseclose

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