Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has surged ahead of actor Matthew McConaughey in a hypothetical gubernatorial race, according to the latest Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler Poll.
The poll's results come just days after former President Donald Trump visited the Texas border on the invite of Abbott.
The poll marked a large swing toward the incumbent against a potential challenge from the famed actor, who led Abbott by 12 points in the past results. Now, Abbott leads McConaughey by just 1 point, 39% to 38%. Almost 25% choose another potential candidate.
"Signing new laws and optimism of new jobs across the state has given a renewed context for Gov. Abbott to regain support from conservative voters who were disaffected by pandemic restrictions," U-T Tyler pollster Mark Owens said. "Abbott's ability to bring Matthew McConaughey's popularity back to his stratosphere comes after an endorsement by former President Trump and a time when Matthew McConaughey has been quiet about his political ambition."
McConaughey has not announced official intentions to run, nor has he declared a party, but he has "honest consideration" because politics are "a broken business," according to the Morning News.
Abbott enjoys a large lead over former state Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, garnering 77% support among likely GOP primary voters, compared to just 12% for the Dallas businessman.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, has not announced intentions to run either, and he trails Abbott by 12 points (45%-33%) in a hypothetical matchup, according to the poll.
Abbott "has done a damned good job on the border," according to respondent Richard Schiller of Sunnyvale, who added: "I know what Abbott stands for; I have no earthly idea what Matthew stands for."
Jonah Hanft of Saginaw, who is a teacher of AP European and world history in the Arlington school district, said, "I will vote for anyone but Abbott at this point."
"I don’t know if he's governing or if he's just," Hanft told the Morning News, "repeating what's on Twitter."
The Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler Poll was conducted June 22-29 among 1,090 registered voters in Texas and has a margin of error +/- 3.4 percentage points.
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