Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor? Actor leads incumbent Greg Abbott in new poll
Matthew McConaughey hasn't officially announced a run for Texas governor, but he beat incumbent Greg Abbott by double digits in a new poll.
The actor, who hasn't announced his candidacy yet but has teased interest in running, beat incumbent Greg Abbott by double digits. Forty-five percent of Texas registered voters said they would vote for McConaughey compared to 33 percent who would vote for Abbott and 22 percent who would select someone else. The poll, released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, surveyed 1,126 registered voters.
While McConaughey trounced Abbott when it came to support from Democrats — he garnered 66 percent of prospective votes as opposed to 8 percent support for the Republican — more than half of the Democrats polled said they wanted a progressive candidate for governor over a centrist.
That could spell trouble for McConaughey, a self-described centrist who's criticized both Republicans and Democrats. And when it came to Republican voters surveyed, 56 percent said they'd vote for Abbott, compared with only 30 percent for McConaughey.
While the Oscar winner hasn't officially put his name in the ring, he said last month that he's giving "honest consideration" to running for Texas governor.
"Look, I'm a 'Meet You in the Middle' man. When I say 'aggressively centric,' that sometimes gets parceled over there with 'Oh, that's a shade of grey, a compromise,'" he told the Austin American-Statesman. "And I say, 'Bulls---. That's a dare. Right now, that's radical. You wanna be brave? Come on over here.'"
For McConaughey, who was born and raised in Texas, his celebrity status will most likely help his political odds in his home state, with one conservative independent voter drawing parallels to former president Donald Trump.
"He's popular, he's colorful, and he's not afraid to tell it like it is," Harp, a construction manager, told the Dallas Morning News. "He has some of the same qualities of Donald Trump, and that will play well in Texas."
The A-lister has stayed close to his Texas roots, recently organizing a star-studded benefit with his wife to raise funds for those affected by storms in the state in February. He even appeared in a Zoom faculty chat for instructors at the University of Texas at Austin during the pandemic. In 2019, he officially joined his alma mater's faculty as a professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film.
McConaughey isn't the only Hollywood celebrity who's been eyeing political office. Dwayne Johnson has been floating a presidential run for several years now, and a recent poll reported that 46 percent of those surveyed would support his campaign (the same poll found 29 percent would support both Johnson and McConaughey's respective bids). Meanwhile, Caitlyn Jenner, a longtime Republican, is reportedly considering a run for California governor and consulting with former Trump staffers.