There’s nothing more significant than sheer dot-connecting here, as there has not yet been any explicit revelations of White House involvement. Still, that’s still politically significant, as the change in the CNN poll series today shows trust eroding rapidly in the Obama White House:
A growing number of Americans believe that senior White House officials ordered the Internal Revenue Service to target conservative political groups, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday morning also indicates that a majority of the public says the controversy, which involves increased IRS scrutiny of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, is very important to the nation. …
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.
The change comes in a particularly bad demographic for Barack Obama’s administration:
“Younger Americans are much less likely than older Americans to believe in White House involvement, and there is, not surprisingly, a partisan divide as well,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But the Obama administration may be losing independents on this matter. In May, only 36% felt the White House ordered the IRS to target conservative groups; now that number has crossed the 50% threshold.”‘
The only reason that the overall number is still below a 50% majority is because of Democratic resistance to the IRS scandal. As a group, they’re much less likely to stop trusting a Democratic White House — even with the Scandalabra that’s taking place at the moment. With a majority of independents assuming that the IRS took orders from the White House, that gives the House and Senate plenty of momentum to press the investigation.
The only bright spot, and it’s not much, is that the overall import of the scandal dropped slightly, from 55% a month ago to 51% today. That’s basically a margin-of-error change, and it doesn’t add up to the overall and significant increase in mistrust in the White House. As CNN points out, though, that’s likely attributable to the addition of the NSA controversies rather than a reduction in outrage.