So I did some more research on it and here are the known facts:
1) That the ‘study’ was in fact paid for by NOM and commissioned by NOM
Head Whore representative for Rhode Island, Christopher Plante.
2) That the firm of Quest Research headed by Prof. Victor Profughi only used a sample size of 400 people.
1) The Quest sample was drawn from the NOM mailing list because I got a call for that survey and I’m on, or was on NOM’s list.
2) That 80% of RI’ers do not in fact want this on a ballot.
There are 691,778 registered voters in the state of Rhode Island. Based on Quest’s ‘research’ each 1,729 voters are covered by one survey respondent.
Voter turnout in Rhode Island for 2010 was 48.9% of the voting population. That means only 338,279 people. If we base NOM’s 80% on that the number is 270,624.
Remember that last number, it’s going to be key in what I’m about to tell you next.
I know that Marriage Equality RI, the Providence Journal, Brown University and a few other entities have studied the question of marriage equality by using surveys. And those surveys of likely voters (Remember this too!) show 62% of RI’ers want LGBT people to have marriage equality.
Here lies the discrepancy. If we take that likely voter number of 338,279 and obtain our 62% from that it is 209,733 who support marriage equality.
That leaves a remainder of 60,891 people who want to “put it on the ballot”. 29%. There’s a large difference between 80% and 29%, several standard deviations in fact.
You see, if you’re going to survey a population on an important POLITICAL question you first go to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s Elections Division and pay $25 for a copy of the current voter database.
Then you randomly sample 1,000, or even 2,000 people from THAT list, not the NOM list. I think you’d get a result closer to that of the ProJo, Brown, and MERI than the 80% that NOM says.
It’s a lie, a damned lie. RIP Joe Palmer who once said and I quote “Numbers don’t lie but figures do!”