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May13b-IRS-a.m.

May13b-IRS-a.m.

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Published by: CBS_News on Jun 06, 2013
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08/03/2013

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CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLL For Release: Thursday, June 6, 2013 7:00 am EDT Most Say IRS’s

Actions Were Motivated by Politics
May 31-June 4, 2013

68% of Americans think the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) selected some conservative groups for additional scrutiny mostly for political reasons, but Republicans think the Obama administration was involved in the decisions to target those groups, while Democrats do not. Most say what the IRS did was wrong, but are divided on whether the agency’s actions were illegal, or merely unethical. Republicans, and particularly Tea Party supporters, are more likely to describe the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups as illegal.

Most Americans think the IRS’s actions were motivated by politics, rather than adherence to the tax code policy, when it selected some conservative groups for additional scrutiny regarding their tax status. Sizeable majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all think these groups were selected out for political reasons. IRS Selected Out Conservative Groups All Reps Dems Inds For political reasons 68% 80% 60% 66% Right tax code policy 19 10 25 19 The public is more divided as to whether the Obama administration was involved in the IRS’s actions: 44% of Americans think the administration was involved, while 40% believe the agency acted on its own. There are partisan differences: most Republicans think the Obama administration was involved in the selection of these conservative groups for additional scrutiny, while Democrats think the IRS acted on its own. IRS Officials Selected Out Conservative Groups… All Reps Dems Inds On their own 40% 13% 65% 38% Obama administration involved 44 70 19 46 Don’t know 16 16 17 16 Six in ten Americans think the IRS was wrong when it targeted conservative groups, but are split as to whether the IRS acted unethically or illegally. 29% think their activities were unethical but not illegal, while 31% describe the IRS’s activities as illegal. Republicans (39%) are more inclined than Democrats (21%) or independents (33%) to call the IRS’s actions illegal. The IRS’ Actions Were… All Reps Dems Inds 29% 32% 28% 27% 31 39 21 33 26 17 35 25

Wrong, unethical Wrong, Illegal Not wrong

Some Tea Party organizations were reportedly selected for additional scrutiny by the IRS. Those who support the Tea Party movement (24% of Americans in this poll) are especially likely to think the Obama administration was involved in the IRS’s actions, and to say what the IRS did was illegal. Tea Party Views of the IRS’s Activities All Tea Party IRS Selected Out Conservative Groups… On their own 40% 16% Obama administration involved 44 73 The IRS’ Actions Were… Wrong, unethical Wrong, Illegal Not wrong 29% 31 26 23% 54 17

Most Americans are following news about the disclosure of the IRS’s activities, including 21% who are following it very closely. Tea Party supporters are paying particularly close attention – 76% are following the story, including 38% who are following it very closely. How Closely Are you Following News About the IRS? All Reps Dems Inds Tea Party Very 21% 23% 16% 23% 38% Somewhat 39 41 41 37 38 Not very/not at all 38 35 41 39 23 __________________________________________________________________________
This poll was conducted by telephone from May 31-June 4, 2013 among 1,022 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News/The New York Times by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLL IRS May 31-June 4, 2013 q26. How closely have you been following news about the IRS selecting some conservative political groups for additional scrutiny regarding their tax exempt status -- very closely, somewhat closely, not very closely, or not at all closely? TOTAL RESPONDENTS Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 21 23 16 23 39 41 41 37 19 20 20 18 19 15 21 21 2 2 1 2

Very closely Somewhat closely Not very closely Not at all closely DK/NA

q27. Do you think the IRS selected some conservative groups for additional scrutiny mostly for political reasons or mostly because they felt it was the right policy under the tax code? Political reasons Right policy DK/NA 68 19 14 80 10 10 60 25 15 66 19 14

q28. Do you think the IRS did anything wrong when it selected some conservative political groups for additional scrutiny, or not? IF YES, ASK: Do you think the IRS’s activities were unethical, but not illegal, or do you think they were illegal? No, nothing wrong Yes, unethical Yes, illegal DK/NA 26 31 15 17 29 39 12 35 32 21 17 25 28 33 15 27

q29. Do you think officials at the IRS acted on their own in selecting some conservative political groups for additional scrutiny or do you think members of the Obama Administration were involved? IRS only Obama administration involved DK/NA 16 40 44 16 13 70 17 65 19 16 38 46

tea Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not? Yes No DK/NA 24 63 13 46 42 13 8 80 12 21 64 14 May13a 23 68 8

Total Respondents Total Republicans Total Democrats Total Independents

Unweighted 1,022 284 315 423 270 315 437

Weighted (26%) (31%) (43%)

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