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December 20, 2014

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Tea partiers shying away from social issues?

A story in the Washington Post today takes a brief look at the tea partiers’ conspicuous silence on a federal judge’s decision to invalidate the ban on recognizing gay marriages.

The story notes the conservative tea party activists are held together by a shared antipathy of federal spending and government imposition and have avoided social issues that might fracture the group.

That dynamic could prove interesting in the U.S. Senate race. GOP senate candidate Sharron Angle, often referred to as the tea party favorite, is a strict social conservative as well as a fiscal conservative.

Her political philosophy is infused with her religious beliefs. She has voiced a strict opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. And is opposed to gay marriage because she believes it would harm the traditional family structure of one stay-at-home parent and one working parent—a structure she believes government policy and services should support.

Could that be a problem?

Angle’s opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s campaign, has already tried to make it one. Nevada’s conservatives have come from predominantly from a libertarian strain of anti-government involvement, not a social or religious conservative movement.

If Angle advocates for government involvement in social issues, she could antagonize those conservatives. Then again, not likely many in the tea party movement would opt for Reid simply because of the abortion and gay marriage issues.

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