In the wake of the health care vote, the media did their best to paint Tea Party activists as a bunch of violent bigots. But it looks like that narrative didn't gain too much traction with the public. Rasmussen reports that the American people think that a Tea Party member's views are closer to their own than Obama's views:
On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.
Gallup's latest poll shows that Tea Partiers are demographically "fairly mainstream."