So apparently, the question in yesterday's TOI Indiatimes.com poll was something like this:
After sub-continent's flat pitches, will S. Africa's pace-friendly pitches test India?
89% said Yes
11% said No
And this is not a post to ridicule the 11% who actually believe that the Indian Cricket team will have NO problems on South African pitches..
The first thought that came to me was How many people actually responded to this poll? Nowhere in the entire "article" is that mentioned.. It probably doesn't matter as such. The TOI sells about 2 million papers everyday and has probably double the number accessing the website. So my guess is it could be 89% of a million who believe this.. That's what, 890,000 people???
Or it could be that out of all the poor souls who actually felt like bearing with Indiatimes.com, only about a 50 or so responded and 89% (comes to about 44??)..
Or it could be 50 Times of India employees who are trying to do what their boss asked them to..
Could someone sitting on the fence on a particular topic, be swayed this way or the other, if he/she finds out that 890,000 people think one way, and only 110,000 think the opposite??
Would that person have the same thought, if he found out that 37 people think one way, 5 think the other way, and the remaining 999,948 really don't care???
The cricket question is not the point..
The point is the Times of India is an important institution in India. Such impromptu opinion polls have the potential to influence public opinion, for or against a certain position..
And considering the TOI has done away with the standard etiquette of dating their articles, and also mostly tends to completely disregard the concept of "conflict of interest", that could be a tiny possibility right??