Attempting to persuade Democratic leaders to back his proposal for billions of dollars in new federal spending for a border wall, President Trump Thursday said most of those affected by the current partial government shutdown are Democrats.
“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” Trump tweeted.
The president offered no evidence for his assertion. In a 2016 Government Executive survey, 28 percent of federal employees identified themselves as Democrats, and 26 percent said they were Republicans. But an even greater percentage, 35 percent, identified as independents. And of those in the last category, 42 percent said they leaned Republican, while only 31 percent said they leaned Democratic.
In the same survey, Trump led the pack of the GOP candidates then running for president, with 32 percent support of employees who identified as Republicans. But overall, 59 percent of respondents said they would be “embarrassed” if Trump were elected president.
Trump may assume federal workers are Democrats, but he also says they back his position on border security and the shutdown. On Christmas Day, he told reporters that “many of those workers have said to me, communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall.”
Approximately 800,000 federal employees are currently affected by the shutdown, with about 350,000 subject to furloughs.