Actor Matthew McConaughey could be the next governor of Texas if he finally decides to run for election. According to a poll published Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, Matthew McConaughey leads the incumbent governor, with over 45% saying they support the actor against 33% showing support for Greg Abbott.
To date, Matthew McConaughey has not formally announced his candidacy but has only flirted with the idea and hinted at the possibility in various podcasts and public appearances.
Although the results of this poll are promising for his candidacy and could make Matthew McConaughey finally decide to run, they do not guarantee an electoral win.
First, because it is obviously only a poll, and second, because while in total numbers his lead is impressive, a detailed analysis of this poll shows that Matthew McConaughey would have to navigate serious hurdles in the arduous primary process until he could run.
In his recent statements, Matthew McConaughey has been ambiguous in his positions, and no one is even clear on whether he would run as a Republican or Democratic. In either case, Matthew McConaughey would run as a moderate candidate.
It is precisely his moderate and centrist approach that makes him so popular in global counts, but it could also pose an insurmountable problem when it comes to winning in a primary process.
According to the poll, 66% of voters registered as Democrats, 44% of voters registered as independents, and 30% of voters registered as Republicans would vote for Matthew McConaughey.
However, of those surveyed who would vote in the Democratic primary, 51% said they would choose a candidate running as more progressive, to just 25% who would vote for a centrist or moderate.
Among Republican primary voters, while 47% said they would choose Abbott, 20% would prefer a centrist candidate, and 18% would prefer someone like Donald Trump.
Matthew McConaughey will have to define himself clearly
If there is one thing McConaughey has been known for in his statements, it has been for rejecting the excessive progressivism of the left, especially for having suffered it in Hollywood as a consequence of his Christian beliefs.
For months now, McConaughey has been profiling himself as a political outsider — in the style of what Trump made fashionable — and criticizes both parties equally, insisting on presenting himself as a moderate who would simply try to make things right for Texas.
In fact, one of the things that voters value most about Matthew McConaughey is how proud he is of being a Texan and the good image of Texas that he always promotes in his public appearances, but above all that he not only limits himself to words but also takes action, as with his success in organizing the We’re Texas benefit festival, raising $8 million to mitigate the devastating effects of last winter’s storm.
While 54% of respondents think Abbott responded “well” or “very well” to the power and utility outages caused by the February storm, 35% say they would vote for McConaughey over Abbott himself.
If we look at those who think Abbott acted “poorly” or “very poorly” in the face of the emergency – who account for 44 % of Texans – McConaughey would receive 57% of those votes – versus 9% who would vote for Abbott.
While his popularity and charisma give him impressive numbers, from the moment he opted for a platform, Matthew McConaughey would have to face opposition from the political and media apparatus of both the rival party and his own party, and the consequences of this are imponderable.
Even if he decided to run as an independent or for a third party such as the Libertarian Party, he would have to fight against history and statistics, as traditionally third choices have never been successful in Texas no matter how popular the candidates have been.
In the coming weeks, Matthew McConaughey will have to make up his mind and, if he finally chooses to run for governor, we will have to look at which platform he chooses, so that we can continue to analyze the development of events. What is certain, especially in light of the poll results, is that he will have to clarify his positions on key issues for the Texas electorate, such as gun issues, abortion, immigration, and, of course, pandemic measures.