Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Federal Workforce Views Biden Less Favorably Than American Public

Biden is making some inroads with Republican feds, a new survey shows.

Just half of federal employees approve of President Biden’s performance through his first 100 days, according to a new survey, with 45% of respondents expressing disapproval. 

The ratings are a notch behind the American public as a whole, which gives Biden a 54%-42% split according to a FiveThirtyEight average of polls. The president’s approval among federal employees outpaces former President Trump at the same point in his term, who earned positive ratings from just 37% of civil servants after his first 100 days. The White House may still find the scores disappointing, however, as Biden has taken great pains to recognize and praise the federal workforce during his first few months in office. Both polls were conducted by Government Business Council, the research arm of Government Executive

More than one in 10 respondents have not yet had direct contact to Biden administration officials, saying they are not aware of any new political appointees at their agencies. Of those who have seen new appointees, 50% said they were confident those officials could advance their mission and another 19% were neutral. Just 31% said they were not confident in the appointees. 

Overall, federal employees report smooth sailing under Biden in their day to day work. Three in four say their organizations have maintained productivity since the president took office. About half of feds think Biden has improved the federal government’s reputation, while 40% say he has damaged it. 

A slight majority of feds said Biden had a clear management agenda, while 47% said it was unclear or they did not know. The White House has so far put forward only a preliminary discretionary spending budget for fiscal 2022, promising to deliver a president’s management agenda in the coming months. Still, Biden’s impact on agencies has been swift. He has put forward sweeping plans that could dramatically reform agency missions or provide significantly more funding to carry them out. 

Biden is winning slightly more cross-party support than his predecessor, with 17% of Republican federal workers giving the president a positive rating. Just 44% of independent federal employees approve of Biden, while 50% disapprove. After his first 100 days, just 5% of Democratic federal employees approved of Trump’s performance. 

The survey was sent to a random sample of Government Executive Media Group subscribers from April 27-28. It has a margin of error plus or minus 4%. 

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