straw vote


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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for straw vote

  • Then he caused a straw-vote to be taken among a selected list of thousands of his subscribers in large cities and in small towns.

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.