if i had to guess, i would say he fairly conservative, but not as much as he led on.... as you say, he did need the support of that base ,so he said all the right things to all the right people.
i'm "older" ( 60) and although I lead a somewhat socially conservative life ( in public.... private is a whole 'nuther ballgame), my politics are quite different.
unlike Reps and Dems, i'm not out to mandate you live by my morals or ethics... i'm cool with letting folks choose for themselves.
hell, we don't get invited to presidential debates, and we can't afford to put on our own multimillion dollar prime time spectacle either.... according to the media and most voters, nobody exists outside of Dems and Reps.
for now, libertarians are left to operate within the major parties... mostly the Republican party , as the Democratic party is very hostile towards us kind of folks.
"We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game. And I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually."-Daniel Patrick Moynihan, December 5, 1963
Chemists Have Solutions .