Poll: Public Sentiment Grows for Special Prosecutor in IRS Scandal
A new Quinnipiac University poll find sentiment is growing and that the public four to one wants to see a Special Prosecutor to too look into the IRS scandal – but believes the economy is more important:
American voters say 76 – 17 percent, including 63 – 30 percent among Democrats, that a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate charges the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
This again reflects the fact that members of neither party want to see the IRS used as a political tool.
President Barack Obama gets a negative 45 – 49 percent job approval rating, compared to 48 – 45 percent positive in a May 1 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, conducted before the IRS allegations surfaced.
The president’s biggest drop is among independent voters, who give him a negative 37 – 57 percent score, compared to a negative 42 – 48 percent May 1. He gets a negative 9 – 86 percent from Republicans and a positive 87 – 8 percent from Democrats, both virtually unchanged. Women approve 49 – 45 percent while men give a negative 40 – 54 percent score.
And here’s a big drop:
Americans are divided 49 – 47 percent on whether Obama is honest and trustworthy, down from 58 – 37 percent, the last time Quinnipiac University asked the question September 1, 2011.
Support for an independent prosecutor to probe the IRS issue is 88 – 6 percent among Republicans and 78 – 17 percent among independent voters, 78 – 17 percent among men and 74 – 18 percent among women.
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voters apparently don’t like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don’t exactly think highly of him. Holder gets a negative 23 – 39 percent job approval rating.”
American voters say 43 – 32 percent that congressional criticism of the Obama Administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Libya is ‘just politics.’ Voters say 44 – 33 percent, however, that members of Congress who criticize the way the Obama Administration handled the IRS are raising ‘legitimate concerns.’ Criticism of the Justice Department’s seizure of journalists’ phone records also raises ‘legitimate concerns,’ voters say 37 – 24 percent.
Of the three controversies, 44 percent of voters see the IRS probe as the most important, with 24 percent citing Benghazi and 15 percent picking the AP records seizure.
But voters say 73 – 22 percent that dealing with the economy and unemployment is a higher priority than investigating these three issues.
The bottom line: pressure will increase on the White House to appoint a special prospecutor, but GOPers may not be so quick to want one since they can get better political milage with Congressional hearings. But the IRS issue won’t go away.