State Watch

Poll: More Texas voters say they’d back McConaughey over Abbott for governor

More Texas voters said in a new poll that they would back Matthew McConaughey over Gov. Greg Abbott (R) at the ballot box if the actor were to run for the state’s leading office.

In new poll released by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler on Sunday, 45 percent of registered voters in the state said they would likely support the actor if he ran for governor. 

By contrast, 33 percent of voters said they would still vote for Abbott, while slightly less than a quarter of respondents said they would vote for someone else.

While it’s unclear which party the actor aligns with politically, McConaughey enjoyed more support from Democratic-identifying voters in the poll than Abbott, with 66 percent of respondents from the group saying they would vote for the Academy Award winner.

Abbott drew more backing from voters who identified as Republicans than McConaughey, with 56 percent of voters from the group saying they would still support the governor if the actor were to run.

However, McConaughey also attracted more support from voters who identified as independents than Abbott in the new poll, which showed 44 percent of voters from the group backing the actor, compared with the 28 percent who said they would vote for the governor.

The poll’s results also seemed to indicate better primary chances for the actor if he were to run as a Democrat versus a Republican. Among Democratic primary voters, a vast majority — 70 percent — said they would vote for McConaughey, compared with 29 percent of Republican primary voters who said the same.

But when asked if they were more likely to support a centrist or progressive candidate for governor, a majority of Democratic primary voters said they were more likely to back a progressive candidate. This could spell trouble for McConaughey, who has previously urged Americans to get “aggressively centric,” if he were to run.

McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, Texas, revealed last month that he is seriously considering a gubernatorial bid in his home state.

At the time, McConaughey said politics “seems to be a broken business to me right now.” But he added that he thinks he has “some things to teach and share.”

The new poll was conducted from April 6-13 and surveyed 1,126 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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