Tea Parties: Sign of Libertarian Resurgence?


Hotshot political numbers maven Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com thinks the numbers indicate yes:

The best benchmark I've been able to come up with for libertarianism is the amount of contributions to Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign. Fundraising data has the advantage of being extremely clean and comprehensive—all contributions of at least $200 are reported to the FEC and itemized by their location…..

We have New Hampshire, we have Texas (where Paul is from) and we have a whole bunch of states in the Mountain West. Per capita, Paul raised about twice as much money in the West as he did in other parts of the country. In New Hampshire, he raised about three times above the national average….

Now then, which states had the most tea party attendance?….As measured on a per capita basis, eight of the top ten states for Tea Party attendance were West of the Mississippi. Five of the top ten—Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming—overlap with the best Ron Paul fundraising states.

Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie from Reason magazine's December 2008 issue on why we may be entering a new libertarian moment, tea parties aside. My profile of the Ron Paul movement from Reason magazine's February 2008 issue,