Abbott holds slight lead over potential challenger Matthew McConaughey: poll

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Matthew McConaughey
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) holds a slight lead in a new poll over potential challenger Matthew McConaughey, as the actor mulls a bid against the two-term governor.

The poll, released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, found that 39 percent of registered voters in Texas support Abbott, while 38 percent say they would back McConaughey over the governor.

The margin between Abbott and McConaughey narrowed over the past two months. A similar poll released in April found that 45 percent of registered voters surveyed would support McConaughey, while only 33 percent would vote for Abbott.

McConaughey in March said he is seriously considering waging a bid for the Texas governorship. The actor, however, has not yet committed to a campaign or signaled which party he would represent.

In May, a report said the actor was calling people influential in Texas politics to gauge their interest in him potentially running for governor.

McConaughey attracted majority support among Texas Democrats, according to the new poll, with 56 percent saying they would support him over Abbott, who attracted support from 15 percent of Democratic respondents. That margin, however, was an improvement for Abbott, who trailed McConaughey by 58 percentage points among Democrats in April.

The actor also attracted support from Texas independents, 39 percent of whom said they would support him, as opposed to 29 percent who said they would back Abbott. That margin, however, narrowed from April, when McConaughey led Abbott among independents by 16 percent.

The actor’s support trailed significantly behind that of Abbott, however, among Texas Republicans, with 69 percent supporting Abbott. Only 22 percent threw their support behind McConaughey. In April, Abbott led among Republicans by just 26 percent.

Twenty-three percent of all respondents in June said they would vote for someone other than McConaughey or Abbott.

If McConaughey ultimately decides to launch a campaign, he would not be the first candidate to announce a challenge against Abbott.

Former state Sen. Don Huffines (R) and Texas GOP Chairman Allen West are both vying for Abbott’s position.

Former President Trump weighed in on the race last month, throwing his support behind Abbott’s reelection.

The new poll surveyed 1,090 registered voters between June 22 and 29. Its margin of error is 3.4 percentage points.

Tags Donald Trump Matthew McConaughey Texas governor race

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