Since it's inception the Tea Party has been viewed as being fueled by the fact President Obama is black. This is no dirty secret or anything and the Tea Party has constantly fought back against those claims. But when you look at the important issue of why the Tea Party would vote for someone, then you start seeing that race could be a big factor:
A lot of the Tea Party voters are more focused on someone able to beat President Obama than they are the actual issues. Compare that to people who say they aren't in the Tea Party, where 61% are more for the issues than the 26% for beating Obama.
How can the Tea Party explain this? According to this question Karl Marx could be running for President and if the Tea Party felt he could beat Barack Obama, they would vote for him.
It's this very type of question that explains why the Tea Party's favorable view has taken a serious nosedive over the past year. They get furious when we call them racists, yet their own responses to simple polling questions validate the very charges.
And there is even more proof in these crosstabs. Here's another question that I really find interesting: