What makes a survey scientific?

“We’re spending $70 per person to fill this [the American Community Survey] out. That’s just not cost-effective,” he continued, “especially since in the end this is not a scientific survey. It’s a random survey.”
–Daniel Webster, first term Republican congressman from Florida

As quoted in The beginning of the end of the Census?, by Catherine Rampell, New York Times, 19 May 2012. Webster sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives that would eliminate the Survey.

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