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IPFS News Link • Texas

Matthew McConaughey's Big Risk (and Opportunity) If He Runs for Texas Governor


Does "Texas Gov. Matthew McConaughey" sound all right? (All right, all right?)

The Oscar-winner has been openly flirting for months with the prospect of entering what could be a pivotal race in 2022 to lead the country's second-most-populous state at a time when the traditionally deep-red territory is increasingly edging toward purple. But is McConaughey serious? And if he is, what are the chances he'd actually defeat Republican incumbent Greg Abbott?

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the actor hasn't been fundraising or gathering a potential staff, aside from a few exploratory phone calls. Which isn't to say he couldn't declare his candidacy anyway and then figure out the details later, but right now there doesn't appear to be behind-the-scenes movement in that direction.

Texas political insiders are likewise skeptical the 51-year-old Texas native will ultimately leap into the fray, yet are by and large bullish about his prospects if he does — particularly when compared to another potential as-yet-undeclared candidate, Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman who narrowly lost a senate bid to incumbent Ted Cruz in 2018 and has recently emerged as the only prospective serious challenger to Abbott. 

A July survey by the University of Texas, Tyler, suggested 44 percent of Texans would vote for McConaughey in a hypothetical election versus just 35 percent for Abbott, with 54 percent believing the state was "on the wrong track." When Abbott is paired against O'Rourke, the outcome reverses, with the governor garnering 42 percent to O'Rourke's 37 percent.