Two well-established principles in the field of mediation are: conflicts that are especially difficult to resolve tend to attract international mediation and, secondly, democracies are more likely to mediate than other third parties. However, I argue that in the case of disputes that are both highly intense and involve third-party democracies, the joint effect is a lower probability of mediation. Mediation is not costless for third parties and domestic audiences may punish leaders for failed interventions. As democracies are more vulnerable than nondemocratic regimes to such audience costs—especially in the case of difficult conflicts that are likely to fail—they will opt to mediate the “easier” cases. I find robust support for this argument using data on civil wars and mediation from 1946 to 2011. This article adds to our understanding of conflict management and sheds further light on the persistent selection mechanisms surrounding international mediation.