Well, obviously, they exist — just not in any remotely large enough numbers to form a constituency. It’s not just hardcore libertarians who are absent. Even vaguely libertarian-ish voters are functionally nonexistent.
The study breaks down voters into four quadrants, defined by both social and economic liberalism. But virtually everybody falls into three quadrants: socially liberal/economically liberal; socially conservative/economically conservative; and socially conservative/economically liberal. The fourth quadrant, socially liberal/economically conservative, is empty:
The libertarian movement has a lot of money and hardcore activist and intellectual support, which allows it to punch way above its weight. Libertarian organs like Reason regularly churn out polemics and studies designed to show that libertarianism is a huge new trend and the wave of the future. Sometimes, mainstream news organizations buy what they’re selling. But the truth is that the underrepresented cohort in American politics is the opposite of libertarians: people with right-wing social views who support big government on the economy.
I think what that table mostly shows is that economic conservatives don’t exist. The rarest form of economic conservative, however, are those who are also socially liberal. Libertarians might exist, but they are rare. We have been dropping our bucket down a dry well. At least I have been.