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Party platforms differ sharply from one another, especially on issues with religious content, such as abortion or gay marriage. Given the high return to attracting the median voter, why do vote-maximizing politicians take extreme positions? In this paper, we find that strategic extremism depends on an intensive margin where politicians want to induce their core constituents to vote (or make donations) and the ability to target political messages towards those core constituents. Politicaldoi:10.1162/003355305775097533 fatcat:bbdidoapjvcqxkkutrj3odwgyq