Poor Trust, Performance Ratings Given to All Levels of Government, But Local Governments Rate Best; Racial/Ethnic Differences Seen as the State's Biggest Obstacle as Reported in the 2016 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey
Federal, state and local leadership, government performance, and livability in Florida are survey findings shared by University of South Florida Professor Susan MacManus
TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2016) – An overwhelming majority of Floridians do not trust leaders at any level of government and 88 percent oppose lengthening term limits for state legislators. Florida residents do not give governments high marks for the job they do serving the public, per the 2016 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey. A majority (56 percent) identify integrity and honesty as the most important leadership quality. Racial/ethnic differences (24 percent) are the most-cited obstacle to solving major problems compared to 2014 when it was partisan differences (28 percent).
The survey is overseen by Distinguished University Professor Susan MacManus at the University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences and identifies Floridians' stance on emerging and hot-topic issues. All survey data releases are posted on the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey website, including Quick Facts summaries, infographics in .jpg format, and data analysis with cross tabs.
"Floridians have become more critical of government at all levels regarding their leaders' trustworthiness and job performance (public service). A majority values a leader's integrity and honesty above all else," MacManus said. "But Floridians also recognize that solving the state's big problems can be more difficult because of the extremely diverse population which yields differences of opinion about what should be done and how. The most cited obstacle in 2016 is the state's racial/ethnic divide. In 2014, it was the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans."
Infographic: Biggest Divide in State
Leadership and Government Performance
Infographic: Most Important Leadership Quality
Infographic: Citizen Trust in Government
Infographic: Increase Term Limits in Florida's Legislature
Infographic: Federal Government Performance Rating
Infographic: State Government Performance Rating
Infographic: County Government Performance Rating
Infographic: City Government Performance Rating
Livability (Quality of Life): Present and Future
Infographic: Florida Better or Worse Than Five Years Ago
State – Four-in-10 Floridians (41 percent) believe the quality of life in the state will not change during the next five years, while a third (32 percent) are optimistic and believe it will improve.
County – A plurality (42 percent) predicts little change in their own county's livability, while 36 percent expects it to improve.
Neighborhood – The clear majority (60 percent) does not see the quality of life in their own neighborhood changing much during the next five years – a pattern observed since 2010.
Infographic: State Better or Worse in Next Five Years
Infographic: County Better or Worse in Next Five Years
Infographic: Neighborhood Better or Worse in Next Five Years
Results of this survey are based on 1,248 telephone interviews conducted by The Nielsen Company Sept. 1-19, 2016 with a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, residing in Florida households. For a random sample of 1,248 adults, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ± 2.77 percentage points. Refer to the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey website for complete methodology.
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Racial and ethnic differences seen as state's biggest divide @SunStateSurvey
Integrity and honesty identified as the most important leadership qualities @SunStateSurvey
80% of Floridians give federal government leaders negative trust ratings @SunStateSurvey
Increasing state legislature term limits strongly opposed by Florida residents @SunStateSurvey
Only 29% of Floridians give positive ratings to state government performance #sunshinestatesurvey
41% believe quality of life in Florida will not change during the next five years @SunStateSurvey
The USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey is the most anticipated annual survey of Floridians on a wide range of issues affecting the state of Florida and serves as our state leaders' report card. Conducted by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida and Nielsen, this survey has become a critical source of citizen opinions on key issues facing this rapidly changing state--the nation's third largest. The series of questions asked annually since 2006 provides leaders and academics in the public, private and nonprofit sectors with much ‐ needed trend line data, while questions on newly ‐ emerging issues give leaders an invaluable baseline look at where a wide cross ‐ section of our state's residents stand on them.