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straw vote

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noun

an unofficial vote taken to obtain an indication of the general trend of opinion on a particular issue.

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Also called straw poll .

Origin of straw vote

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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Idioms and Phrases with straw vote

straw vote

Also, straw poll. An unofficial vote or poll indicating how people feel about a candidate or issue. For example, Let's take a straw poll on the bill and see how it fares. This idiom alludes to a straw used to show in what direction the wind blows, in this case the wind of public opinion. O. Henry joked about it in A Ruler of Men (1907): “A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.” [c. 1885]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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