Rasmussen just completed a survey regarding the Tea Party Protests. The most interesting part of the study from my perspective is the gap between the 'Political Class' and 'Mainstream Americans'.
51% of Americans had a favorable view of the Tea Parties including 32% with very favorable views and 33% having unfavorable views. There at 15% who are unsure. The Political Class had a much different view. Only 13% had favorable views to 81% with unfavorable views. None of the Political Class had a very favorable view while 60% hand a very unfavorable view (included in the 81% unfavorable view). That is a 19% favorability advantage among Americans and a 68% edge for unfavorable among the Political Class.
The differences do not end there. A full quarter (25%) of Americans knew someone who attended a Tea Party Protest while only 1% of the Political Class did. The Political Class were also less likely to follow the story then the Mainstream 32% to 68%.
Republicans and Democrats were closer together on some issues then the Mainstream and the Political Class.
More at http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics2/51_view_tea_parties_favorably_political_class_strongly_disagrees.