Story at a glance

  • A recent poll found 45 percent of registered voters in Texas would vote for McConaughey while 33 percent would cast a ballot for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
  • Along party lines, 56 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for Abbott compared to just 30 percent for McConaughey.
  • Sixty-six percent of Democrats said they’d vote for the actor compared to 8 percent for Abbott.

A new poll suggests actor Matthew McConaughey may have a viable shot at becoming governor in his home state of Texas. 

The poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler released Sunday found 45 percent of registered voters in Texas would cast a ballot for the "Dallas Buyers Club" actor, while just 33 percent would vote for current Gov. Greg Abbott (R). 


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Meanwhile, an additional 22 percent of the state’s voters said they’d vote for someone else over McConaughey or Abbott. 

Along party lines, 56 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for Abbott compared to just 30 percent for McConaughey, while 66 percent of Democrats said they’d vote for the actor compared to 8 percent for Abbott. Among independent voters, 44 percent said they would support him over Abbott while 29 percent threw their support behind the current governor. 

“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 success,” Mark Owens, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Tyler, told The Dallas Morning News. 

“Most of our survey respondents know his story, but many are waiting to see how he opens his next chapter,” Owens said. 

The survey polled 1,126 registered voters in Texas over a week in early April and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.92 percentage points. 

The poll comes as McConaughey, 51, has been critical of both Republicans and Democrats in interviews over the past several months and teased he may enter politics in the state. It’s unclear whether the actor would run as a Republican or Democrat. 

The next Texas gubernatorial election will be held on Nov. 8, 2022. Abbott is running for his third term. 


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Published on Apr 19, 2021