Actor Matthew McConaughey could be a serious candidate for governor of Texas as he leads Greg Abbott 45%-33%.
The poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found:
If he were to take the plunge and run for governor, the poll found, 45% of Texas registered voters would vote for McConaughey, 33% would vote for Abbott, and 22% would vote for someone else.
McConaughey’s double-digit lead over the two-term Republican incumbent is significant. The poll, conducted April 6-13, surveyed 1,126 registered voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.92 percentage points.
But 56% of Republican voters said they’d vote for Abbott, compared with only 30% for McConaughey.
While Democrats broke 66% to 8% for McConaughey, and independents 44% to 28%, more than twice as many Democratic primary voters — 51% — said they wanted a progressive candidate for governor than wanted a centrist — 25%.
McConaughey has suggested that he is a centrist, which might not go over well with the state’s Independent voters. McConaughey is one of those celebrity candidates who might poll better as a theoretical than he would fare if his campaign became a reality.
The actor has not said whether he would run as a Democrat or an Independent. The odds are close to zero that he would challenge Abbott in the Republican primary.
The message that Democrats should take away from the poll is that Greg Abbott is not in a politically strong position, and someone like McConaughey could beat him and do what almost seems unfathomable by electing a non-Republican governor of Texas.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association