The Relationship between Libertarians, the Tea Party and the Christian Right

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GOTW.102913.LibertarianIn 2010, PRRI’s inaugural American Values Survey uncovered an important relationship between the Tea Party movement and the Christian right—roughly half of those who identified as members of the Tea Party also said they were part of the conservative religious coalition. Three years later, the 2013 American Values Survey profiles libertarians as an increasingly relevant conservative group and explores their relationship to existing conservative constituencies.

Although some prominent Tea Party leaders claim the movement is primarily based in libertarian values, the two groups are largely independent of each other. More than 6-in-10 (61 percent) libertarians say they do not consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement. And on the whole, Tea Party members are not libertarians. In fact, libertarians constitute a smaller proportion of the Tea Party movement than other core conservative groups. About one-quarter (26 percent) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement are libertarians. Twice as many Americans who identify with the Tea Party (52 percent) say they are a part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement. In contrast, only 22 percent of libertarians identify as part of the Christian right movement.

Overall, libertarians and members of the Tea Party are roughly equal in size, making up seven percent and 10 percent of the adult population respectively. Roughly 1-in-5 (18 percent) Americans report that they are part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement.




3 Responses to “The Relationship between Libertarians, the Tea Party and the Christian Right”

  1. Phillip says:

    Of course libertarians don’t identify with the christian right or the tea party. Why? Because libertarians apply the non-aggression principle of not exerting violence or the threat there of to get their way understanding that forcing someone to do x-y-z or not do x-y-z is of the same value as a forced conversion. What’s missing here is that I’d guess libertarians at an almost identical % don’t identify with the progressive left and it’s associated movements either.

    • Ann Parker Crawford says:

      For the most part I think you are correct, but I’ve met some far right libertarians (or so they call themselves) who feel their way is the only way – believe in their rights only and forcing their beliefs on others. In abortion law for example.

    • Duane Reichert says:

      The Tea Party’s appeal to Libertarians is their support of the constitution, and secure borders. I’ve always had difficulty with the official Libertarian Party stance regarding the border and immigration. I agree that no good will come from the mixing of religion and politics / government.

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