Formal models of voting have emphasizd the mean voter theorem, that all parties should rationally adopt identical positions at the electoral mean. The lack of evidence for this assertion is a paradox or contradiction in need of resolution. This article attempts to resolve this paradox by considering an electoral model that includes “valence” or nonpolicy judgements by voters of party leaders. The theorem is used to suggest that Republican success depends on balancing the opposed demands of economic and social conservatives. Democrat success in future elections resides in overcoming the policy demands of economic liberals and gaining support from cosmopolitans—the socially liberal but economically conservative potential supporters of the party.