Matthew McConaughey, Texas Governor? Voters Seem to Like the Idea.


A new poll may put some wind in the actor Matthew McConaughey’s sails as he considers whether to run for governor of Texas.

Forty-five percent of the state’s voters said that they would vote for Mr. McConaughey if he were to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott next year, according to the poll, conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas, Tyler.

An additional 33 percent of voters said they would support the incumbent, while 22 percent said that at this early stage, they would prefer to choose someone else.

But such highly theoretical questions can sometimes produce wonky results, especially this far in advance of any actual campaigning. That’s doubly true when the hypothetical involves a figure with name recognition as high as Mr. McConaughey’s, particularly in his home state.

The actor has repeatedly flirted with running for governor, though he has not said whether he would run as a Republican or a Democrat. Last month he said he was seriously considering a bid.

“I’m looking into now again, what is my leadership role?” he said on a podcast. “Because I do think I have some things to teach and share, and what is my role? What’s my category in my next chapter of life that I’m going into?”

His fortunes in the new poll were particularly good among independents, 44 percent of whom said they’d support him and only 18 percent of whom said they would back the governor, a Republican.

Yet Mr. Abbott’s job approval rating was healthy, with 50 percent of voters giving him positive marks and 36 percent negative. Fifty-four percent said he had responded well to the state’s power failure crisis, driven by strong support from Republicans; independents tilted away from him here, with 50 percent saying he had handled it badly and 43 percent saying he responded well, the poll found.

The survey was conducted from April 6-13 among 1,126 registered Texas voters, using a mixed-mode approach that included live phone interviews as well as online polling through the Dynata database.



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