The 2015 edition of the USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey represents a continuation of a public policy surveying effort dating back to 1999. Every effort was made to conduct this survey in the same manner and with the same data collection firm and analytical personnel that have been involved with the survey from the past five years. As in recent years, the sample was structured, and the telephone data collection calls were made by the 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 1,251 telephone interviews conducted July 30, 2015 through Aug. 16, 2015 with a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, residing in State of Florida households.
For a random sample of 1,251 adults, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is + 2.77 percentage points.
For this survey, a telephone sample of 80,000 listings was randomly drawn from listed telephone households and from Random Digit Dial (RDD) working telephone exchanges (exchanges with at least five working telephone numbers per 100). Known businesses, cell phones and Do Not Call registered telephone numbers were excluded from the sample. In the listed sample, age and Hispanic indicators were available, and the sample vendor increased the proportion of Hispanic and more difficult to reach age ranges in order to improve the representativeness of the completed survey.
The sample was drawn proportional to county population throughout the State of Florida, and it was divided into 400 replicates of 200 listings each. Each replicate of 200 records contained both listed and RDD sample randomly shuffled within each replicate and representative of regional census population figures. Between one and five call attempts were made on all of the 80,000 records, with 51,992 of those records resolving out naturally due to completed interviews, refusals or having reached a maximum of five attempts per record.
Telephone interviewing was conducted by trained, experienced interviewers from a supervised telephone center using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system.
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 region of Florida as well as by gender, age group and race/ethnicity using the same categories that were applied by the Nielsen Company in previous years for this survey.