In February, I penned an article questioning how libertarian the Tea Party was and pondering whether or not the Tea Party would live up to its libertarian roots.
While the Tea Party is united on economic issues, there is a split between traditional social conservatives and those who think government should refrain from promoting “traditional values,” according to a recent survey taken at the Virginia Tea Party Convention.
The survey was conducted by Emily Ekins and David Kirby on October 9. They surveyed 639 attendees at the Virginia Tea Party Convention in Richmond. While Congressman Ron Paul spoke, so too did many less libertarian-leaning speakers ranging from Lou Dobbs to former Senator and likely 2012 Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
The results of the survey show that 48% of Tea Partiers were libertarians and 51% were traditional conservatives. Of the libertarians identified, 35 percent self-identified as such — a far larger number than the surveyors expected. The full results can be found here.
This is evidence that we should not only embrace the Tea Party — as many RLC activists have — but continue to sculpt it in a libertarian direction.