In polite circles, they’re called “Libertarian leaning” Republicans who are borrowing a few pages from the Libertarian Party playbook, primarily to widen the voter appeal of the Grand Old Party as 2014 and 2016 approach.
Now there are some numbers on it. A FreedomWorks poll released Wednesday reveals “fiscal issues and the role of government take top priority across the GOP voter base.” The findings note that “big-tent libertarian values within the Republican Party and the American voter population at large are at the highest level in a decade.”
The survey found that 41 percent of Republicans say they have such values. The greater concern is whether social conservatives and the Libertarian leaners can get along - but that’s another story.
Meanwhile, on the laundry list of voter concerns, the pollsters says that voters fret about increasing government power - including the U.S. engagement in overseas conflicts, citizen surveillance, the IRS matter, and of course the incoming Affordable Care Act and the endless federal debt.
“We are seeing a realignment of the GOP, and a return to the fiscal policy priorities that fueled the last Republican midterm sweep. It’s 2009 all over again, only this time combined with a growing distrust of an executive branch plagued with scandal,” says Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, a sizable grassroots group of liberty minded folk nationwide.
Other key findings of the wide ranging poll include:
81 one percent of Republican voters oppose a debt ceiling increase.
66 percent of Republicans want their lawmakers to “stick to principles’.
51 percent say the U.S. should not take the lead role in solving international conflicts.
61 percent of U.S. voters overall say the “economic policies coming out of Washington” are hurting rather than helping.
62 percent of all voters prefer a patient-centered health care system that allows for competition and choice
17 percent of all voters say Obamacare will have a “positive personal impact.”
The survey of 1,000 registered U.S. voters was conducted between July 29 - August 5 and released Wednesday.