Tea Party Split Between Sarah Palin, Ron Paul

Libertarians like Paul, conservatives like Palin
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2010 8:50 AM CDT
In this April 15, 2010 file photo, the Capitol is seen in the background, as Tea Party demonstrators gather at Freedom Plaza in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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(Newser) – 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.” (Read more Tea Party stories.)

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