Matthew McConaughey has said he’s considered running for governor of Texas someday. And a new poll says almost half of Texas voters would be alright, alright, alright with that.
According to a poll released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, the Oscar-winning actor has a double-digit lead over incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. Forty-five percent of Texans said they’d vote for the Magic Mike star even though he hasn’t said whether he’ll run or not. Only 33 percent said they’d cast a ballot for Abbott.
However, his lead evaporates when pollsters only consider Republicans. And Texas has historically been a deeply red state.
UT-Tyler political scientist Mark Owens, who directed the poll, said the actor has a lot of positives but raises a lot of questions.
“Matthew McConaughey gets a huge boost from tremendous name recognition and recognition for what he does to help Texans and add to the celebration of the state’s successes,” Owens said. “Most of our survey respondents know his story, but many are waiting to see how he opens his next chapter.”
He gained a lot of fans from his recent benefit concert that featured some of Texas’ biggest music acts. They raised more than $300,000 for families who suffered during the vicious winter storms that hit that South earlier this year. You can still watch the stream and donate.
What Are Matthew McConaughey’s Politics?
Matthew McConaughey has steered clear of taking any hard stances on either side of the aisle. He prefers to play the maverick rather than the polemical.
In his memoir Greenlights, he says he comes from a long line of “outlaw libertarians who vote red down the line because they believe it’ll keep fewer outlaws from trespassing on their territory.” And he called out the “liberal left” of Hollywood for being out of touch with middle America.
However, he is in favor of new gun control laws and a strong social safety net.
During his “We’re Texas” virtual concert, he mostly stuck to preaching a centrist message of unity.
“Helping people in real need is not a political issue. … They’re the values of being a good neighbor. They’re the values we teach our children,” McConaughey said. “It’s really simple. Tonight is about helping people get back on their feet after they’ve got knocked down. It is about lending a helping hand to people who aren’t just looking for a handout. It’s about serving people who want to serve themselves but are having a hard time doing it right now. It is about reviving our spirit — not only in Texas — but in all of us.”
That seems to be his core tenant at this point: unity. How he’d achieve that or what that means, he’s yet to explain.
But whatever his message, it’s resonating with voters.
“He’s popular, he’s colorful, and he’s not afraid to tell it like it is,” said Mark Harp, 47, a conservative independent. “He has some of the same qualities of Donald Trump, and that will play well in Texas.”