The Obama administration has begun arguing that Republicans are trying to distract voters with a series of “phony scandals.”


However the administration has clarified, for example, that the Internal Revenue Service targeting of certain groups is a serious charge, and that it has taken steps to remedy it. The scandals have become phony, the administration says, only because Republican have attempted to politicize them. 

On the IRS scandal, 59 percent of voters believe it should be taken seriously. The numbers break the same way for the revelation of the Justice Department’s monitoring of some journalists. 

A portion of the same poll released Thursday showed Obama’s approval rating at 42 percent, a drop of 4 points since the most recent Fox poll in July. 

The Fox News poll phrases the question as an either/or question on all the scandals: "Please tell me whether you think this is a situation that should be taken seriously or if it’s more of a phony scandal.”

The survey polled 1,007 registered voters and has a 3 percent margin of error.