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Survey Shows Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party

Washington, DC
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Cato Institute examined a new survey demonstrating the libertarian roots of the Tea Party. According to a Cato policy analysis, Tea Party members are united on economic issues, but divided on their approach to social issues.

David Kirby, vice president of FreedomWorks, and Emily Ekins, director of Polling at the Reason Foundation, discussed the results of their research, which shows that "roughly half the tea party is socially conservative, half libertarian -- or, fiscally conservative, but socially moderate to liberal." They contend that the Tea Party is asserting a strong libertarian influence on the Republican Party.

Responding to the discussion were: Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley professor of ethical leadership at New York University; and Jonathan Rauch, guest scholar in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. John Samples, director of the Center for Representative Government at the Cato Institute, moderated the event.

Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 6:28pm (ET)

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