The Tea Party has become much better known since the beginning of last year. But as the Tea Party has become more well-known, its image has become less positive. A survey conducted Aug. 17-21 by the Pew Research Center for the People &the Press found that 36% of those surveyed say they have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement while 43% have an unfavorable view; 20% are unfamiliar with the Tea Party or express no opinion of the movement. In February 2010, about the same percentage as today (33%) had a favorable opinion of the Tea Party but just a quarter (25%) had an unfavorable opinion; far more (42%) were unable to rate the Tea Party. Conservative Republicans are one of the only groups in which favorable views of the Tea Party have increased since early last year – 73% have a favorable opinion now, compared with 59% then. Unfavorable opinions among conservative Republicans have not increased over this period (14% now, 11% then). The public continues to be divided over whether Republican leaders in Congress are paying too much, the right amount or too little attention to the Tea Party. Currently, 30% say GOP leaders are paying too much attention to the Tea Party while about the same percentage (31%) say they are paying too little attention to the Tea Party; 20% say they are giving the right amount of attention to the group. These views are little changed from early April (27% too much, 32% too little, 23% right amount). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.