Washington Post Poll

This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2010, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) of Princeton, NJ.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. Do you think the quality of employees in the federal government is generally higher, lower, or the same as the quality of employees who work in private business?

           Higher        Lower         Same       No opinion 
10/3/10      15            36           44           5

2. Do you think that federal employees generally work harder, work less hard, or work equally as hard as employees with similar jobs in private business?

             Work         Less        Equally        No
            Harder        Hard         Hard       Opinion
10/3/10       7            49           39            4


3. Would you say federal government workers get better pay and benefits than people doing similar work outside the government, worse pay and benefits, or what?


            Better       Worse       About the      No
        Pay/Benefits  Pay/Benefits   Same (Vol)   Opinion
10/3/10      75            10           10           5
4/25/82      68            11           13           8

4. Is it your impression that most employees of the federal government are (underpaid) for the work they do, paid about the right amount, or (overpaid) for the work they do?

                           Right                     No
         Underpaid        Amount     Overpaid     Opinion
10/3/10      9              33          52            7

5. Regardless of what's happening now, do you think federal government agencies SHOULD offer pay and benefits that are (higher), (lower) or about the same as those provided in comparable private-sector jobs?

            Higher        Lower       About the      No
         Pay/Benefits  Pay/Benefits   Same (Vol)   Opinion
10/3/10       10           10             75          5


6. At any time in the past year have you had any contact with an employee of a federal government agency as they were doing their job, or not?

             Yes           No        opin.   
10/3/10       35           64          2

6a. (IF YES) Thinking about the last time that happened, from your perspective how well did the federal employee do his or her job - very well, somewhat well, not so well or not well at all?

              ----Very/Somewhat----  --Not So/Not At All--
                    Very   Somewhat       Not So  Not Well     No
             NET    Well    Well     NET   Well   At All      Opin.
10/3/10      73      41      31      26      13      13        *

Q6/6a. Net Table #1 (based on total)

Yes, had contact with an employee of a federal agency           35
   Did job very well             14   
   Did job somewhat well         11                                          
   Did job not so well            5                                          
   Did job not well at all        4                                          
   No opinion                     *                                    
No, did not have contact with an employee of a federal agency   64               
No opinion (Vol)                                                 2               

7. If you had a relative or close friend just getting out of school, would you like to see him or her pursue a career in government, or not?

               Yes           No        No opinion   
10/3/10        57            33            10 


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