Poll: GOP Gains Edge in Voter Trust on Ethics

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Benghazi , Fast & Furious Department of Justice Scandal , IRS Scandal

A new poll finds the GOP edging the Democrat party on who the public trusts more on ethics and corruption. According to the poll from Rasmussen, a plurality of likely voters, 39%, have more faith in the GOP on these issues, against 37% who trust the Democrats more. While the GOP edge is narrow, it represents a dramatic 10 point swing since March, when Democrats held an 8-point edge.

Voters attitudes about political parties are generally static. Perceptions about both the GOP and Democrat parties are firmly established in voters' minds, so views will tend to shift only very gradually over time. The net 10-point swing towards the GOP in just a couple months on this issue represents a big shift in attitudes. 

In recent weeks, the political world has been dominated by the slow-drip of revelations on a range of scandals plaguing the Obama Administration and, by extension, the Democrat party. The most explosive of these has been the admission that the IRS targeted tea party and conservative organizations for inappropriate scrutiny. 

The IRS action itself is a serious breach of the public's trust, but the stonewalling by the IRS and White House has compounded the initial shock of the revelation. Unless there is clear accountability on the scandal soon, the GOP edge on trust and ethics will grow. With mid-term elections just over a year away, this advantage could be a decisive factor in a number of races. 


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