Much as there are two Americas, there are two Tea Parties; one that's libertarian, and one that's socially conservative. Politico ran an exit poll on Thursday's massive tax day protest on the Washington Mall and found that about 43% said that the government needed to promote traditional values. Their favorite Tea Party leader was, naturally, Sarah Palin. A virtually identical 42% said the government shouldn't promote any particular value set. Their favorite politician: Ron Paul.
Overall, the activists were less culturally conservative than mainstream Republicans—asked to rank issues they were angry about, same-sex marriage came in dead last, with 24% saying it didn't bother them at all. Not that the protesters necessarily wanted to be counted as Republicans. Though three quarters believe President Obama is “pursuing a socialist agenda,” roughly the same percentage said they “want to send a message to both political parties.”