As the Impeachment trial gets under way, the Senate is mulling rules to limit the movements of the press. It’s also been over 10 months since the White House Press Secretary held a briefing from the White House press room. What is interesting is the American public are not that aware as one-quarter (24%) believe it has been about a week since the last briefing and very few say it’s been 6-9 months (6%) or 10-11 months (5%). This is from an online survey we conducted among 1,037 U.S. adults, 18 and older between January 13 and 15, 2020.
It is also not like Republicans or Democrats are paying attention to when it was. One-third of both Republicans (32%) and Democrats (33%) as well as two in five Independents (40%) say they are not at all sure how long it has been since the last press briefing.
Regardless of when they thought the last briefing was, four in five Americans (80%) say it is important that the White House bring back regular press briefings. And this is not partisan – three-quarters of Republicans (74%), four in five Independents (79%) and nine in ten Democrats (89%) all say it is important that the White House bring back regular press briefings.
The flip shows the same story as just two in five Americans (40%) say White House briefings are no longer necessary. Here there is a little of a partisan divide as over half of Republicans (53%) say they are not necessary any longer compared to less than two in five Independents (38%) and three in ten Democrats (31%). There is also a gender divide as half of men (50%) say the briefings are not necessary any longer compared to three in ten women (31%).