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Article

Valence influence in electoral competition with rank objectives

In this paper we examine the effects of valence in a continuous spatial voting model with two incumbent candidates and a potential entrant. All candidates are rank-motivated. We first consider the case where the low valence incumbent (LVC) and the entrant have zero valence, whereas the valence of the high valence incumbent (HVC) is positive. We show that a sufficiently large valence of HVC guarantees a unique equilibrium, where the two incumbents prevent the entry of the third candidate. We also show that an increase in valence allows HVC to adopt a more centrist policy position, while LVC selects a more extreme position. We also examine the existence of equilibrium for the cases where the LVC has higher or lower valence than the entrant.