2017 Results

Nov. 28, 2017: Data Release 10: Public Finance—Budget, Taxes, and Spending Citizen Access—Automatic Voter Registration
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Nov. 21, 2017: Data Release 9: In-Migration, Leadership, and Performance
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Nov. 14, 2017: Data Release 8: Education
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Nov. 7, 2017: Data Release 7: Race Relations, Hate Groups, and Immigrants
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Oct. 31, 2017: Data Release 6: Make Us Safer, Say Floridians
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Oct. 24, 2017: Data Release 5: Protecting Vulnerable Floridians
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Oct. 17, 2017: Data Release 4: The Environment—Problems & Potential Solutions
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Oct. 10, 2017: Data Release 3: Guns, Safety, and Assistance to Mentally-Disabled
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Oct. 3, 2017: Data Release 2: Economy and Most Important Issues
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

Sept. 26, 2017: Data Release 1: Floridians worry about elder care and end-of-life arrangements
Issue Brief | Detailed Analysis and Crosstabs | Infographics

USF Student Involvement

The USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey is a collaborative learning opportunity between the USF College of Arts and Sciences and the Nielsen Company, LLC., that allows USF students to gain valuable experience before graduation.

Each of the students below made significant contributions to this year's Survey. Valuable input into the survey question content and structure came from all students in the upper-level Media and Politics class (Spring 2017).



Infographics Team

 Amy Benner graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science (2017) and criminology (2007), with a minor in history. 

Georgia Pevy graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Florida in May 2017 with a bachelor's degree in political science.


Analytics Team

Neil Dalson is a senior at the University of South Florida majoring in political science.

Aida Vazquez-Soto is a junior at the University of South Florida majoring in economics and political science.

Ella Biggins is a junior at the University of South Florida majoring in political science with a minor in mass communications.

Nathaniel Sweet is a sophomore at the University of South Florida majoring in political science.


Media & Politics Class

All students enrolled in the upper-level Media & Politics class, spring 2017. Class designed for political science and mass communication majors—disciplines with heavy reliance on surveys.



Methodology: 2017 Sunshine State Survey


The 2017 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 for the past six years. 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 1,215 telephone interviews conducted July 24 through August 14, 2017 with a random sample of adults, aged 18 and older, residing in State of Florida households.


For a random sample of 1,215 adults, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ± 2.8 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 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 the remaining 118,000 records, with 71,516 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 counts of Florida residents age 18 and over by county. These were available by broken down by gender, age group and race/ethnicity (Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic and Other) in the 2015 population estimates for the State of Florida by the U.S. Census Bureau. County data were grouped into survey regions in order to determine the desired representation for each region as well as for Florida as a whole. For categories not included in these breakdowns (Asian, biracial, other and unknown) no weighting was applied. This resulted in a slightly higher “other” category and slightly lower Non-Hispanic category representation than indicated in the Census.




In analyzing the data, the responses to each survey question were broken down by region and are reported when statistically significant. Since last year, one county (Flagler) has been reassigned to a different region; from North Florida to Orlando. After that change, the composition of each region is tied to media markets as reported in the table below.




Counties in Each Region of Florida Used for the 2017 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey


Media Market

Counties Included

Tampa Bay

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota

Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota

Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale

Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe


Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne

Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, Volusia

Palm Beach

West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce

Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie


Ft. Myers-Naples

Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee

North Florida




Panama City



Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton, Washington



Past Results