“Alright. Alright. Alright.”
That’s probably what actor Matthew McConaughey said after a recent poll was released surveying a hypothetical gubernatorial matchup between McConaughey and current Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who is up for re-election in 2022.
The poll of 1,126 Texas voters, conducted by the Dallas Morning News and University of Texas-Tyler, showed McConaughey at 45%, compared to 33% for Abbott and 22% for “someone else”.
Abbott fared somewhat better among Republican voters, with 56% compared to McConaughey’s 30%. While Democrat voters preferred McConaughey to Abbott 66% to 8%, 51% of the Democrat respondents also said they would prefer a progressive as opposed to only 25% who would vote for a centrist.
Independents broke down similar to Texas voters as a whole, favoring McConaughey 44% to 28%.
McConaughey has previously stated that he giving “true consideration” to running for governor, explaining that he wants to, “get into a leadership role in the next chapter of my life.”
The actor’s political affiliation and policy positions are ambiguous, and he has thus far declined to comment whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat, or most intriguingly, as an independent.
While Abbott has all the advantages of incumbency, including a truly staggering campaign war chest, he has come under fire from both the right and left for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as other issues. Abbott is expected to face some heat in the 2022 GOP primary, perhaps drawing a primary challenger from the right like Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller or Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West.
Texas is still a red state, albeit by a much smaller margin than in the past. Texas Democrats, who every two years believe that a blue wave is just around the next election cycle, sense an opportunity and are expected to put in significant effort to defeat Abbott.
It’s difficult to predict the impact a potential McConaughey bid would have on the state’s current political dynamic, but the recent poll shows at the very least that he could be a viable candidate.
McConaughey has yet to announce whether he will run for office or not. But fans believe it would be a lot cooler if he did.