Story at a glance:
- Actor Matthew McConaughey is seriously considering a run for governor of Texas.
- If he runs, his politics, which are unclear, might make him lose his favorability.
- It would be ill-advised for McConaughey to run as a third party, a Democratic strategist said.
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly seriously considering a run for Texas governor, making calls to influential people in the state’s political world.
While McConaughey has not officially confirmed his candidacy, it is also unclear in which party the beloved and laid-back Texas actor might run. Should he enter the race, McConaughey could unseat Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who is planning to run for a third term, Politico reported.
Politico does note that McConaughey has not publicly espoused his political views, making some wonder where his ideologically stands.
The last time the state had a Democratic governor was 26 years ago with Ann Richards.
A recent poll from the Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler show that McConaughey has a favorability of 45 percent of Texans, while 33 percent would vote for Abbott.
However, Republicans, which dominated the red state, say they are 56 percent more likely to vote for Abbott. Thirty percent would vote for McConaughey, the poll found.
“Everybody loves you until you take a position. Right now you have a blank slate. You could go to a campaign event with him and get to meet a movie star but it’s a little different when he says he’s pro-life or pro-choice and there’s 50 other issues you could pick on that would have the same effect,” said a senior Texas Republican operative, according to Politico. “There’s a difference between asking if it’s a good idea or really running.”
Whatever the 51-year-old actor’s political affiliations are, leading Democratic strategist Paul Begala told Politico that “Texas doesn’t need a third party, Matthew! We need a second party.”
As The Guardian noted, entertainment and politics have a checkered history of mixing: Ronald Reagan was an actor before becoming governor of California in the late ’60s and then the president in the ’80s. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an A-list star, became governor of California in 2004. Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was the governor of Minnesota, and former President Trump went from celebrity billionaire to president. And even now, Caitlyn Jenner, the former Gold Olympian and reality TV star, wants to be the next California governor.
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