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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

Is libertarianism taking hold of GOP?

For three days last week, an array of suitors postured, posed, and preened, hoping to win the affection of attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

One take-away from this year’s confab is that the right is in trouble, at risk of a schism between social conservatives and small-government libertarians and at risk also of an upcoming presidential nominating campaign reminiscent of the embarrassments of 2012. A different read, however, is that conservatives — and ultimately, the Republican Party — are coming to grips with a demographic reality that now favors Democrats.

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