The 2014 edition of the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey represents a continuation of a public policy surveying effort dating back to 1999. The current survey, previously the Leadership Florida survey, is the first under new ownership (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Public Affairs at USF), but every effort was made to conduct it in the same manner and with the same data collection firm and analytical personnel that have been involved with the previous four surveys. As in recent years, the sample was structured, and the telephone data collection calls were made by the A. C. Nielsen Company, a national survey research firm located in Florida which is known for conducting survey research to the highest and best industry standards.
Results of this survey are based on 1,875 telephone interviews conducted July 30, 2014 through August 15, 2014 with a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, residing in State of Florida households.
For a random sample of 1,875 adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is + 2.2 percentage points.
For this survey, a telephone sample of 120,000 listings was randomly drawn from listed telephone households and from Random Digit Dial (RDD) working telephone exchanges (exchanges with at least 5 working telephone numbers per 100). Known businesses, cell phones and Do Not Call registered telephone numbers were excluded from the sample.
The sample was drawn to reflect proportional population throughout the State of Florida and it was divided into replicates of 200. Each replicate of 200 records contained both listed and RDD sample randomly shuffled within each replicate and representative of regional census population figures. A total of 68,435 records were dialed to completion, or more than once in order to complete the 1,875 interviews obtained.
Telephone interviewing was conducted by trained, experienced interviewers from a supervised telephone center using a computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system. Interviews were conducted with a randomly selected household member at least 18 years old.
Survey weighting is a mathematical procedure that applies more weight to respondents in underrepresented demographic categories and less weight to respondents in over-represented categories. For this study, the raw data was weighted based on 2013 population estimates for the State of Florida by the U.S. Census Bureau. Weights were applied according to gender, age group and race/ethnicity using the same categories that were applied by A.C. Nielsen Company in previous years for this survey.
Also, as was done in prior years, the base for each banner category is shown in terms of its population in the State of Florida.