The Slatest

Poll: More Texans Would Vote for Matthew McConaughey Over Greg Abbott for Governor

Matthew McConaughey speaks at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City.
Matthew McConaughey speaks at Carnegie Hall on February 29, 2020 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey has made clear he’s interested in running for elected office. And, at least according to a poll released Sunday, it seems like he has a shot at the top office of his home state. In the new poll by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, 45 percent of registered voters in the state said they were likely to back the actor if he were to run for governor. That is 12 points more than the 33 percent of voters who said they would back Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican. Twenty-two percent said they would cast their ballot for someone else.

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McConaughey has yet to say which political party he’d run with and hasn’t expressed allegiance to either Democrats nor Republicans. Looking at the numbers though it seems the Oscar-winning actor would likely have a better shot of winning if he were to run as a Democrat. While 56 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for Abbott and only 30 percent for McConaughey, among Democrats the pro-McConaughey camp is 66 percent, compared to 8 percent for Abbott. Independents also favor McConaughey over Abbott—44 percent to 28 percent.

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More than anything, McConaughey has taken pains to characterize himself as a centrist, which could prove to be a problem in a primary. While slightly more than half of Democratic primary voters said they want a progressive candidate for governor, only one-quarter expressed preference for a centrist. Among Republican primary voters, only 20 percent said they would want a more centrist candidate.

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The poll comes a few weeks after McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, Texas, said he was seriously considering a run for political office. “It’s a true consideration,” he said in an interview last month when he was asked about the issue. “I’m looking into now, what is my leadership role?” he added. “Because I do think I have some things to teach and share. What is my role, what is my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into now?” Earlier this month, a separate poll found that 46 percent of Americans would like to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson run for president. “Not sure our Founding Fathers ever envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club—but if it ever happens it’d be my honor to serve the people,” Johnson tweeted in response to the poll.

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