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Poll: How Damaging Is the IRS Controversy to Obama? Poll: How Damaging Is the IRS Controversy to Obama?

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Poll: How Damaging Is the IRS Controversy to Obama?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how politically damaging is the IRS controversy to President Obama, with 1 representing "no damage" and 10 representing "highly damaging?"


Average: 6.2


1-3: 10%
4-6: 40%
7-10: 50%


"It hurts in Washington, but it won't have a huge impact on voters, who think everyone in D.C. is corrupt."


"It gets him off message but won't stick to him personally."


"A lot will depend on how he handles it, and thus far he's been relatively flat-footed."

"Too soon to tell. If the Republicans keep trying to make it a White House scandal versus the IRS scandal that it is, voters will put it in perspective and see it as a pure political play by the president's enemies."


"Obama's greatest strength is that people like him. But those same people tend to dislike government overreach. This scandal attacks him at his strength, and that is never good."

"It's not so much that any one controversy is damaging—it's that the Benghazi, IRS, and AP controversies are all happening at once, and all feed a similar 'Big Brother' narrative."

"Silly, stupid, but not anywhere near fatal."


"Barack Obama won in 2008 because he vowed to change the political culture in D.C. His current problems demonstrate that he failed."

"This will be a tar baby unless turpentine is applied quickly to the appropriate appendages."

"This is real bad. The only reason it is not a 10 is because there is no evidence Obama ordered it."

"Every taxpaying American is willing to believe the worse about the IRS, and if the White House knew, 10+."

"Who is running the place? How are they countenancing these things?"

" 'Obamacare' meets Watergate."

"Bad issue, bad handling of it, bad optics."

"It gives the R's something to focus on other than solving the nation's problems."


On a scale of 1 to 10, how politically damaging is the IRS controversy to President Obama, with 1 representing "no damage" and 10 representing "highly damaging?"


Average: 7.2

1-3: 9%
4-6: 14%
7-10: 77%


"This only spreads beyond the Republican base if the media gets angry."

"Impacts in very negative way the president's already damaged reputation as an effective administrator."

"Those most worked up already disliked the president; most others primed to assume the worst about the IRS anyway, and frankly, the 9/12 groups probably deserve a closer look anyway."


"This has potential to be a 10, depending on who knew what."


"The pain is inevitable; the suffering is optional. The longer Obama lets this linger out there, the more his administration will suffer."

"This one hurts because there is no place to run for cover."

"This gets right to the heart of every American taxpayer's basic fear that the IRS will be used for political purposes."

"The diversion of attention is bad in the short term, and digging into agency behavior never yields good attention, especially as the health care law becomes front and center."

"Distrust of government was already at an all-time high, and still climbing."

. . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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