Nearly 60 Percent of Federal Employees Disapprove of Trump’s Transition

President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Friday. President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP

The majority of federal employees disapprove of the way President-elect Donald Trump is handling the transition process, according to a new poll, and just one-third think he will be at least partly effective at managing government.

Nearly six in 10 federal workers expressed disapproval of Trump’s transition in a Government Business Council/ survey, with 27 percent expressing approval. Sixty-two percent of feds ultimately voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, while 28 percent voted for Trump. Clinton widened her lead significantly over Trump from July, when the same survey found her holding just a 5 percent lead over her Republican opponent, and dwarfed even the 19-point lead she held as of October.

Half of federal employees said the incoming Trump administration will be only a little or not at all effective at managing the day-to-day operations of government, compared to one-third who said it will be at least somewhat effective. Just 20 percent of respondents predicted Trump would have a positive impact on their agency while 48 percent said he would have a negative impact.

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Feds are also not impressed with their soon-to-be more direct bosses, according to the survey results. Just 35 percent said they are at least somewhat confident Trump’s appointee to lead their agency will do so effectively, while 44 percent expressed little confidence.

About one in four respondents -- 26 percent -- said they will not be able to carry out the missions of their agencies in the Trump administration, while 38 percent said they will.

Federal workers overwhelmingly said they believe Trump’s businesses pose a conflict of interest, with 68 percent saying his Trump Organization relationships would conflict with his duties as president. Just 23 percent said they would not pose a conflict. Half of feds said Trump’s business experience will hinder his management of the federal government, while just 28 percent said it would help him.

Government Business Council released the survey on Jan. 11, 2017, to a random sample of Government Executive, Nextgov, Defense One, and Route Fifty subscribers. The survey included responses from 745 federal employees, with representatives from at least 36 federal and defense agencies. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

For full survey results, click here.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.