I recently appeared on State of Belief radio to discuss the findings of PRRI’s2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America with host Rev. Welton Gaddy. He had some great questions for me, including a particularly interesting one about the differences in composition between libertarians and those who identify with the Tea Party movement. Here’s an excerpt from my explanation:
In 2010, we did a survey focused on the Tea Party. There we found about half of the Tea Party, 47 percent, consider themselves part of the Christian right. That continues to be true today of the Tea Party movement. About half, 52 percent, of Tea Party members currently say they also consider themselves a part of the Christian right. But we didn’t know where libertarians fit into that picture. What we know today is that most libertarians, 61 percent of them, consider themselves outside the Tea Party movement. Another way of thinking about that is if we look inside the Tea Party movement, only about a quarter of those who consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement are libertarians. This really upends some of the mythology that’s been around the Tea Party movement, that they’re primarily a libertarian influence on the Republican Party. In fact, what we see is the Tea Party itself is primarily a social conservative influence on the Republican Party. The libertarian movement is largely outside the Tea Party movement, so it’s actually something quite distinct.
Be sure to check out the full interview over at State of Belief!