A new Gallop poll reveals that a majority of Americans believe the Internal Revenue Service is doing a fair to good job, despite the recent uproar over the agency's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.
But the poll of 1,016 adults still reflects an erosion of confidence in the agency since 2009, when a similar Gallup survey
found 40 percent approved of the job the agency was doing and only 20 percent disapproved.
According to the new May 20-21 poll, 27 percent of survey participants said the IRS is doing a good job and 29 percent said it's doing a fair job. But the survey also found that 42 percent of respondents said the agency is doing a poor job.
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"The IRS' image has clearly suffered in recent years, and although the nearly four-year period between Gallup updates makes it difficult to ascribe the change directly to the recent controversy, this almost certainly has been a major factor," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones and Lydia Saad said in a statement about the latest survey.
"Over that same period, most other government agencies' images have been more stable, with some showing slight improvement and others a modest decline in their job ratings," they added, noting that the IRS "has much work to do to repair its image, which will likely need to wait until the matter over its alleged targeting of conservative groups is fully investigated and dealt with."
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