Most Americans don't think President Barack Obama has handled the IRS scandal well and that high-ranking IRS officials in Washington knew of the scheme to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a Gallup poll shows.
The poll by Gallup showed that by a solid majority Americans don't think the president is handling the issue well. Only one-third approved, while 58 percent disapproved.
Independents had a similar view, but 83 percent of Republicans disapproved of the president's handling of the situation. Fifty-six percent of Democrats approved of Obama's handling of the issue.
Nearly six in 10 of those surveyed believe high-ranking officials were in the know, according to Gallup. Only a fourth believed that the knowledge was limited to officials in the Cincinnati office where the targeting actually took place.
When broken down by party, 84 percent of Republicans believe D.C. officials were in the know, while 57 percent of independents held that view. Democrats were more evenly split in their beliefs. Forty-three percent believe knowledge extended to the nation's capital, while 41 percent thought it was limited to Cincinnati.
The same poll, conducted June 1-4, asked whether officials in the White House knew about the targeting before it became public. Half of all respondents said they believed the executive office was aware, while 36 percent thought it was limited to Cincinnati.
Again, party lines showed large differences of opinion. Almost three-fourths of Republicans and just more than half of independents thought the Obama administration knew about the targeting. Only a fourth of Democrats thought so.
Three-fourths consider the matter serious, though just more than half are paying attention to it on the news.
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