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Three-quarters of U.S. voters want a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups, according to a poll that showed a drop in President Barack Obama’s approval and trust ratings.

In the survey released today by Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University, registered voters favored a special prosecutor by 76 percent to 17 percent. Those backing such a move included 63 percent of Democrats.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for an independent investigation into the IRS,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute, said in a news release.

The IRS earlier this month disclosed that it singled out groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names for extra scrutiny before deciding whether to grant tax-exempt status under the tax code’s Section 501(c)(4). That status would allow those organizations to hide their donors even when engaging in political activity. Some Democratic-leaning groups also received requests for additional information.

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