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Does the country care asmuch about the White House'slatest trio of scandals as outraged and indignant Republicans?

The President and his team have offered conflicting, clueless and and tone-deaf explanations for the behavior of the Internal Revenue Service, the seizure ofreporters' phone records, and the deadly security debacle at Benghazi.

Republicans are working overtime to put the Presidentand his administrationin the worst possible light for all three.

But is their glee at exploiting the White House's three-ring nightmare diverting them from issues voters think are more important than the political fingerpointing and namecalling?

A new Washington Post survey is food for thought.

According to the poll, only 33 percent of Americans think Republicans in Congress are paying attention to matters that they consider personally important.Sixty percent of those responding say they are not.

On the flip side, 51 percent think the President is working on matters they care about. Forty-four percent don't think he is.

Forty-three percent think Democrats in Congress are paying attention to important issues. Fifty percent say they are not.

So Americans think the President and his party are addressing issues they prioritize more than Republicans are, things like health care, education and theeconomy.

But here's the dilemma facing Republicans if they decide to spend moretime and energy on real issues. Staunch Republicans actually care about the political controversies.

A Pew Poll found 37 percent of Republicans are closely tracking the Internal Revenue Service fiasco. Only 21 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Independents are. Thirty-four percent are keeping up with the Benghazi revelations. Just 18 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Independents are.

So here's the quandary facing Republicans as they try to expand and sell their party to a broader section of America.

Do they keep milking the controversies and scandalsmorehard-core Republicanscare about? Or do they pay attention to less dramatic but, arguably,more important issues the rest of the countrywants action on?

Can they turn the President's pain into real political gain?

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