Do Texans want Matthew McConaughey to run for governor? Here’s what a new poll found

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If actor Matthew McConaughey decides to run for governor in his home state of Texas, he has the support of many voters in the state, a new poll found.

The poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows 40% of Texans want McConaughey to run for governor. McConaughey, who grew up in Texas before attending the University of Texas at Austin, has considered a governor candidacy but has not yet put his hat in the race.

Asked about McConaughey against Gov. Greg Abbott, 43% of Texans favor the “Dallas Buyers Club” actor over the Republican incumbent, who had 35% support. An additional 22% of the 1,106 people polled prefer someone else.

Up against Beto O’Rourke, a former Democratic congressman who previously ran for a U.S. Senate seat and later the president of the United States, McConaughey has an overwhelming advantage. The poll found 49% of Texans support McConaughey more than O’Rourke, while O’Rourke had 27% support.

Things got more interesting when people in the poll were asked asked their preferences on the actor versus either candidate. If voters had the option of all three, Abbott has the advantage at 37%, compared with McConaughey at 27% and O’Rourke at 26%.

The poll, conducted Nov. 9 to 16 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.2 percentage points, also asked voters their preference of the announced candidates. Abbott had support from 45% of the Texans polled, with O’Rourke getting 39%. The remaining 16% of people preferred someone else as governor.

McConaughey said in a September podcast he is “measuring” a gubernatorial candidacy, The Hill reported. He told NPR in October he does not identify as Democrat or Republican, as he’s “more concerned with the larger questions of what the hell this politics has become.”

Opinions from political pundits on McConaughey potentially running for office varied tremendously, the Los Angeles Times reported. One called it “unlikely,” while another said he would “definitely” bet on the actor running.

“He appears to be simply enjoying the publicity. It doesn’t work that way. He needs to pick a party,” Gilberto Hinojosa, chair of the Texas Democratic Party, told the Los Angeles Times. “Nobody knows what this guy stands for.”

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