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straw vote

an unofficial vote taken to obtain an indication of the general trend of opinion on a particular issue.
Also called straw poll.
Origin of straw vote
1885-90, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for straw-vote
Historical Examples
  • 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.

Contemporary definitions for straw-vote
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
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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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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