Two very interesting polls released this morning appear to dispel the claims made by liberal media types that Tea Party activists are really rightwing extremists. Gallup finds that demographically members of the Tea Party movement represent the public at large: 

While on the policy front, Rasmussen finds the general public’s views to more closely resemble those of an average Tea Party member than the President’s on the important issues of the day. According to the survey, “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.”
Additionally, last week Rasmussen found that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress.
It appears the claims that Tea Party activists are extremists just don’t hold up.
Update: A poll released yesterday by the Winston Group found that 4 in 10 Tea Party members are Democrats or Independents. The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic. (H/T Brett)