Public Evenly Split on Belief in White House Direction of IRS Scandal

by Jim Geraghty

There’s probably a danger when polling organizations ask about something that hasn’t been proven quite yet; a majority telling a pollster “I believe X happened” does not necessarily mean X actually happened. But this shift does indicate something . . . 

Last month only 37% of the public thought that the IRS controversy led to the White House, with 55% saying that agency officials acted on their own without direct orders from Washington. Now the number who say the White House directed that IRS program has increased 10 points, to 47%, virtually the same as the 49% who believe the IRS agents acted on their own.

Coupled with Obama’s overall slipping numbers, credited to the NSA revelations . . . well, if you think the NSA has behaved in a shady manner inconsistent with the Constitution, under the president’s direction, it’s probably easier to believe that the IRS did the same.