Matthew McConaughey tops poll for next Texas governor, beating Greg Abbott and Beto O'Rourke

Matthew McConaughey tops poll for next Texas governor, beating Greg Abbott and Beto O'Rourke
(L-R) Matthew McConaughey, Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat contender Beto O'Rourke (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Brandon Bell/Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

In a contest for the position of Texas governor, a new survey predicts that actor Matthew McConaughey would defeat both incumbent Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat contender Beto O'Rourke. The poll, jointly conducted by the University of Texas and the Dallas Morning News, found that 45 per cent of Texas registered voters would vote for McConaughey, 33 per cent would vote for Abbott and 22 per cent would vote for someone else.

McConaughey, who resides in Austin, has hinted about a governorship bid for months but hasn't specified whether he would run as a Republican or a Democrat. The 52-year-old Oscar winner keeps his political leanings close to his chest, although previous comments imply that he is moderate to conservative-leaning.

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Respondents to a hypothetical one-on-one battle between Abbott and McConaughey showed the actor scoring higher with 43 per cent with Abbott getting only 35 per cent of votes, while the rest of the participants said they were unsure about who to pick. In a similar match-up between McConaughey and O'Rourke, who recently declared his urge to run next year, McConaughey won 49 per cent of the votes compared to O'Rourke's 27 per cent.

McConaughey, who was raised in a religious household in a tiny town of southern Texas, has hinted at a third-party candidacy, saying he has issues with both parties. He keeps saying that, “Each party is claiming to be democracy itself, and in doing so can't much tell you what they're about. You got to go 'left' sometimes, you got to go 'right.' There are people on the so-called right and the so-called left that are better people for the job at hand at different times.” When asked about running for the post of governor he added, “'Look, it's been discussed. It's a possible avenue, I would call myself aggressively centrist. Not because that's the place of grey and compromise... I think today it's a daring space. It's the space of outlaws.” 

With his declaration earlier this month that he will run for governor, O'Rourke will be running for the third time in as many election cycles. In an interview with Associated Press O'Rourke said, "It's not going to be easy. But it is possible. I do believe, very strongly, from listening to people in this state that they're very unhappy with the direction that Greg Abbott has taken Texas."

He was a party sensation when he entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race, but he pulled out just eight months later when the money and publicity dried up. His attempt for the United States Senate in 2028 was rejected by incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. Abbott, a Republican, is running for re-election for a third term and has become a national figure by taking strong positions on hot-button subjects like abortion and border security. Since Ann Richards' election in 1990, Texas has not had a Democratic governor. In addition, new redistricting in October bolstered Republicans' position in burgeoning suburban districts that had been slipping away from the party.

Share this article:  Matthew McConaughey leads in poll for next Texas governor ahead of Greg Abbott Beto O'Rourke