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Sunshine State Survey Reveals Racial Divides, Government Mistrust

Oct 25, 2016

Racial and ethnic differences are the biggest obstacle to solving Florida's biggest problems.

That's one of the findings from the latest portion of the "Sunshine State Survey, "a joint effort by University of South Florida political scientist Susan MacManus and research firm Nielsen.

Twenty-four percent of Floridians say that divide makes building coalitions more difficult.

MacManus sayid the state's extremely diverse population lends itself to differences of opinion, a sentiment she believes is reflected in the current election cycle.

"Many people were hopeful going into this election season that this would be a healing election, that America could come together, but sadly, it’s not looking that way,” she said.

Other divides noted were the differences between elected officials and average people, income disparity, and generational divides.

And if you think Washington isn't working, you are not alone.

An overwhelming majority of Floridians do not trust government leaders.

"So many people say they don't really have much trust in the federal, state or local governments to do what's right for Floridians,” MacManus said. “So the trust theme is one that you see just being woven throughout this survey and at the national level in terms of dialogue about the presidential election."

Respondents were also asked about term limits and almost 90 percent of Floridians said they were opposed to extending those limits.   

In recent years, there have been repeated proposals from state lawmakers to seek voter approval to extend term limits in Florida from eight years to 12.

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.