An increasing number of Americans say they believe that the White House was more involved in the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service than Obama administration officials are willing to admit, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Nearly half of those polled in the CNN/ORC International survey — 47 percent — said they believe senior White House officials ordered the IRS to target conservative and tea party groups for greater scrutiny.
That’s up from last month, when 37 percent of those polled said the White House ordered the targeting.
It was revealed last month that the IRS had been specifically scrutinizing the applications for non-profit status of certain conservative groups.
Republicans have been asking whether top officials in the Obama administration used the powers of the IRS to harass its political opponents. The administration, however, has said the targeting originated in the IRS’ Cincinnati office and not in Washington D.C.
The country is still sharply divided on the issue. Forty-nine percent of those polled said they believe the IRS acted on their own, down from 55 percent last month.
The poll was conducted June 11 to 13, and included responses of 1,014 adult Americans. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
In the poll, 51 percent said the issue is “very important” to the nation, while only 6 percent said the issue was “not important at all.”