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Survey: Strong Bipartisan Demand From American Voters For Independent IRS Prosecutor

May 31, 2013 by  

Survey: Strong Bipartisan Demand From American Voters For Independent IRS Prosecutor

A survey published Thursday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut shows that 75 percent of Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate the targeting of Tea Party conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.

The nationwide survey, which polled 1,419 registered voters, also revealed outrage over the IRS scandal is largely bipartisan, with 63 percent of registered Democrats calling for a special prosecutor. Among Republicans, it’s 88 percent.

“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.”

The IRS scandal also seems to draw the most attention from voters angry over the Administration’s apparent role in multiple scandals. The IRS’s systematic political discrimination was named by 44 percent of respondents as the Administration’s top-priority scandal, followed by Benghazi (24 percent) and the secret subpoena of Associate Press reporters’ phone records (15 percent).

The abuse of public trust emanating from the Obama Administration hasn’t just soured bipartisan perception of today’s White House; it’s also affected voters’ overall belief in the integrity of government as a whole:

Only 3 percent of voters trust the federal government to do the right thing almost all the time, while 12 percent say they trust it most of the time; 47 percent say some of the time and 36 percent hardly ever. That compares to results of a Quinnipiac University poll in July 2010, four months before the Republican sweep that year on the back of anti-government sentiment, when 2 percent said almost always, 16 percent said most of the time; 50 percent said some of the time and 31 percent said hardly ever.

“All of these investigations may be having a negative effect on voters’ willingness to trust the federal do the right thing,” said Brown.

As for Obama himself, things aren’t good. The President was judged “honest and trustworthy” by 49 percent of voters, with 47 percent deeming him the opposite. That’s a big slide from the last time voters were polled on the same question. Back in September of 2011, 58 percent believed the President was honest and trustworthy, with only 37 percent disagreeing at the time.

See the complete survey here.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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