Poll: One in five paying close attention to IRS

Roughly 1 in 5 adults say they are playing close attention to the IRS’s Tea Party controversy, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.

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Pew found more people were showing deep interest in the issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs (almost 3 in 10) and Iraq (1 in 4), according to the survey of 1,002 adults between June 26 and June 29.

Still, the IRS was still receiving a closer look than the World Cup, the upcoming elections and the Supreme Court, though the survey was taken before Monday’s announcement of the Hobby Lobby decision.

The interest in the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups comes shortly after the agency said former IRS official Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed in 2011, an acknowledgement that gave fresh momentum to GOP investigations. The IRS says that left them unable to reproduce all of the emails that Lerner, the central figure in the controversy, sent or received over more than two years.

Pew’s data also found Republicans were much more likely than Democrats or independents to be watching the IRS. Those 65 and older were the age group most interested in the controversy — roughly three times more likely to be closely watching than those under 30.

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