The Republican National Convention this week announced speaking slots for libertarian Rep. Rand Paul and social conservative Rick Santorum. Both claim the "tea party" brand. However the 2012 primary season reveals that the tea party playbook is more Paul than Santorum.
Conventional political wisdom for at least two decades has held that Republican primaries are won by emphasizing values issues to placate socially conservative voters. Observers point to Santorum's strong showing in the presidential primaries. Exit polls, however, reveal Santorum never won a majority of the tea party vote in any primary.