Growing number think White House ordered IRS targeting, poll says

June 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM

ATLANTA, June 18 (UPI) -- The number of Americans who think the White House ordered the Internal Revenue Service to target conservative political groups is growing, a poll found.

The CNN/ORC International survey, released Tuesday, found a majority of respondents think the controversy, related to enhanced IRS scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, is very important to the nation.

The number of people who say the White House directed the IRS program has increased from 37 percent to 47 percent since last month. Forty-nine percent said they believe the IRS acted on its own, down from 55 percent in May.

Republicans assert the White House ordered the IRS against political opponents but congressional Democrats and the administration say interviews with IRS employees have provided no evidence for such a claim.

The survey indicated 51 percent of those questioned consider the IRS controversy important to the nation, compared to 55 percent who felt that way in May.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International, with 1,014 adults nationwide questioned by telephone June 11-13. The survey's sampling error is 3 percentage points.

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