Poll: Americans Say IRS Broke Law Targeting Pro-Lifers, But Few Expect Punishment

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 26, 2013   |   11:31AM   |   Washington, DC

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows most Americans believe the Internal Revenue Service broke the law when it targeted pro-life and conservative groups, but very few think any government employees will be charged with criminal activity.

The IRS official who oversaw the targeting of pro-life and conservative groups has resigned.

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters think the IRS broke the law when it targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups. Just 24% disagree, while nearly as many (23%) are not sure,” the polling firm reported.

“But only 17% believe it is even somewhat likely that criminal charges will be brought against any government employees for the IRS’ targeting of these groups. Seventy-four percent (74%) consider criminal charges unlikely. This includes four percent (4%) who feel they are Very Likely and 27% who say they are Not At All Likely,” it said.

More from the survey:

Thirty-five percent (35%) think someone at IRS headquarters made the decision to target conservative groups, while 44% believe orders came from somebody who works in the White House. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.

In mid-July, 26% said the decision to target the conservative groups was made by someone at IRS headquarters, while 40% said it came from someone at the White House. Just 19% accepted the IRS’ original claim that the decision was made by low-level employees in Cincinnati.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) think it’s likely that President Obama or his top aides were aware of the IRS’ rogue activity, with 39% who say it’s Very Likely. The overall figure is unchanged from two months ago, but just 32% felt it was Very Likely at that time. Thirty-three percent (33%) still consider it unlikely that the president or any of his top aides were aware of what the IRS was up to, including 13% who say it is Not At All Likely.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters view the IRS case as a serious scandal. Twenty-two percent (22%) say it’s an embarrassing situation only, and 23% feel it’s no big deal.

Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major political party believe the IRS broke the law when it targeted the conservative groups. Just 31% of Democrats agree.

But voters in the president’s party are slightly more confident than the others that criminal charges will be brought against government employees in the IRS matter.

Not surprisingly, Republicans and unaffiliated voters believe much more strongly than Democrats that someone in the White House made the decision to target the conservative groups and that the president or his top aides were aware of the IRS activity.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 24-25, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports.

Despite claims by the Obama Administration that the harassment has ceased, one pro-life legal group says IRS targeting continues.

With the scandal concerning the IRS and its targeting of pro-life and conservative groups growing, national conservative activists held nationwide rallies this summer at IRS offices across the country.

Reports indicate President Barack Obama’s top attorney knew in April that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting pro-life and conservative groups. The reports show Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the IRS over the allegations.



A report shows James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal and promised it would never happen again.

“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.

In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations.