Sunshine State Survey

Meet the Team


J. Edwin Benton (PhD., Florida State University, 1978) is Professor of political science in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies at the University of South Florida. He also is a Senior Fellow at the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida and Managing Editor of State and Local Government Review. In addition, he is a frequent media commentator on international, national, state, and local government politics and affairs, as well as the editor of Government and Politics in Florida (4th edition forthcoming). He specializes in state and local government and politics, Florida government and politics, intergovernmental relations, fiscal and education policy, and voting behavior, public opinion, and elections.  For more information please visit


Stephen Neely (PhD, North Carolina State University, 2013) is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of South Florida.  He is coordinator of the School’s undergraduate program in Leadership and Public Service.  He specializes in public policy, research methods, survey research, and quantitative data analysis.  He has conducted survey research on behalf of several local governments in the Tampa Bay region.  For more information please visit


Joshua M. Scacco (PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2014) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. He also serves as a Faculty Research Associate with the award-winning Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in political communication, media content and effects, and quantitative research methods. For more information, please visit his USF Communication page.

About the USF School of Public Affairs

The University of South Florida’s School of Public Affairs (SPA) was created in January 2013 to merge the graduate programs in urban and regional planning and public administration, as well as the John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government. The School of Public Affairs has a strong commitment to applied societal engagement and making differences in the community.

The vision of SPA is to serve as a premier community-centered hub for public affairs education and research. The School provides quality education, research, and public service to prepare leaders in public administration, nonprofit management, community development and planning. It engages in public policy, scholarship and outreach activities in an urban region to meet community, national and global needs.

As part of USF’s College of Arts and Sciences, SPA offers certificates and degree programs in public administration, urban and regional planning, urban studies, nonprofit management, research administration and public leadership.  To learn more about the School of Public Affairs, please visit

About the USF College of Arts and Sciences

Through world-class research, teaching and service, the College of Arts and Sciences is transforming lives, understanding global change, strengthening communities and revolutionizing education. With 23 academic departments and 22 research centers and institutes, the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college at the University of South Florida. More than 15,000 students are enrolled in the College’s degree programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.  To learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences, please visit

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, USF has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. To learn more about the University of South Florida, please visit

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.  Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.  An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit