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Is Matthew McConaughey running for Texas governor? Actor 'making calls' to well-known Texans to gauge chances

A recent poll shows 45 per cent of participants would prefer McConaughey to the incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott
UPDATED MAY 17, 2021
Actor Matthew McConaughey is considering running for Governor of Texas (Getty Images)
Actor Matthew McConaughey is considering running for Governor of Texas (Getty Images)

Another 'McConaissance' is possibly on the cards for Academy award winner Matthew McConaughey. The actor who has mused about running for the governor's seat in Texas several times is now possibly taking the plunge into political life. McConaughey talking about his political ambitions to CBS News recently said, "I'm giving it consideration. It's a very honorable thing to consider, you know, what that position would mean. What would it be for me, what would it mean for the people of Texas."

Taking a concrete step in that direction, McConaughey, according to Politico, has now reached out to has reached out to a "deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" to help him decide the viability of a possible political career. McConaughey has reportedly been making calls to influential Texans and the state's business leaders, to gauge his chances if he chooses to go ahead with a bid for the governor's seat. 


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Matthew McConaughey has been reaching out to several influential Texans to gauge his chances if he chooses to run for the governor's seat (Getty Images)

Political experts though have their reservations about just how successful McConaughey will be in the political arena, especially since McConaughey has described himself as a hard-core centrist. Their question, which party will McConaughey even run under, considering he has supported both Republican and Democratic policies in the past. In a recent poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler however, 45 percent of the participants said that they would prefer McConaughey to the incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott. 33 percent would vote for Abbott and 22 percent would choose 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%. 

Abbott has recently come under fire due to his controversial handling of Covid and of a recent winter storm in February which left many people in Texas without power, heat or water leading to sixty deaths. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at Dallas's City Hall near the area that is still an active crime scene in downtown Dallas following the deaths of five police officers last night on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Getty Images)

If McConaughey does choose to run, he's certainly got a packed schedule ahead, with the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election to be held on November 8, 2022. Will Texas say 'Alright, Alright, Alright' to McConaughey as Governor. According to Politico, most political strategists say they doubt the actor will sacrifice his status as a beloved cultural icon in the state for the dirty business of politics. They don’t see a viable path forward, either, pointing to Abbott’s backing among the business community and millions in the bank.

McConaughey has become a kind of celebrity mascot for Texas with his role in public service announcements during the coronavirus pandemic and his “just keep livin” foundation, which works with young people and has raised millions for victims of the ice storm that hit Texas. At his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, he has been named “Minister of Culture” and is professor of practice at the Moody College of Communication.