Some people still think surveys are conducted via the Pony Express, apparently. Read this incredibly naive statement by John McCain, the lead Republican bigot trying to bully gays because he lost the presidential election:
“What I can say now, however, is that in addition to my concerns about what questions were not asked by this survey and considered in this report, I am troubled by the fact that this report only represents the input of 28 percent of the force who received the questionnaire. That is only six percent of the force at large. I find it hard to view that as a fully-representative sample set, but I am nonetheless weighing the contents of this report on their merits. What appears clear at this time is that the survey and anecdotal data underlying this report do not lead to one unequivocal conclusion, which is no surprise considering the complex and difficult nature of this issue.”
Beyond naive. First off, a 28% response rate is HUGE for any survey. Second, in 2010, as compared to 1864, you only need a few thousand people to answer a survey in order to get a good sample. Third, if lifting DADT was such a big deal that hundreds of thousands of troops would quick – McCain’s claim – wouldn’t you think those troops would at least answer a five minute survey about that decision, a survey that could effectively kill that decision? In fact, 72% of the service members didn’t respond to the survey request because they didn’t care. That’s a huge data point.