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May 16, 2021

Actor Matthew McConaughey has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles," Politico reports, suggesting that his hypothetical gubernatorial run in the Lone Star State may actually be in the works.

As Politico notes, McConaughey — who has said entering politics is a "true consideration" and appears to poll quite well in Texas — is widely expected to forego a campaign, but he apparently wants to take folks' "temperature" on the idea, multiple people familiar with the conversations said. One of McConaughey's phone calls was reportedly with a "deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO," which does little to clear up whether he'd run as a Republican, Democrat, or independent.

Regardless of what party McConaughey might affiliate himself with, though, Austin-based GOP strategist Brendan Steinhauser told Politico he's "a little surprised that people aren't taking him more seriously, honestly. Celebrity in this country counts for a lot ... it's not like some C-list actor no one likes." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

April 18, 2021

Speculation continues to swirl about renowned actor and proud Texan Matthew McConaughey entering politics in his home state. There's no telling if that will actually happen, but that didn't stop The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler from teaming up to get a sense of how voters feel about the possibility of McConaughey challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for his job next year.

The poll, released Sunday, is a bit of mixed bag for McConaughey. Among all voters, he actually held a 12-point advantage over Abbott, so in a head-to-head race, it seems like the idea is at least viable. Where the actor runs into some trouble is in the primaries. It's not entirely clear under what banner McConaughey, who has suggested he's "more of a moderate," would run, the Morning News writes. Only 30 percent of Republicans said they'd vote for him, compared to 56 percent who would back Abbott. Those numbers might help in the general election, but he'd be toast if he challenged Abbott within in his own party.

The more likely scenario is that McConaughey would run as a Democrat — 66 percent of Democratic voters said they'd back him over Abbott, who received just 8 percent support from the opposing party. Still, McConaughey wouldn't be a shoe-in. The poll also revealed that 51 percent of Texas Democratic primary voters prefer a progressive candidate, while just 25 percent are hoping for a centrist, which is seemingly the mold McConaughey fits.

The poll was conducted between April 6-13 among 1,126 registered Texas voters. The margin of error is 2.92 percentage points. Read the full results here and read more about a potential McConaughey run at The Week. Tim O'Donnell

November 19, 2020

Matthew McConaughey was surprised to learn that he was considering a run for Texas governor, he told Stephen Colbert on Wednesday's Late Show. "I actually just read that headline, actually, about an hour ago." The headline stemmed from an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt posted online earlier Wednesday. Hewitt asked McConaughey, 51, if he would run for governor of Texas or another political office, and the actor noted "that wouldn't be up to me. It would be up to the people more than it would me."

"I would say this," McConaughey told Hewitt. "Look, politics seems to be a broken business to me right now. And when politics redefines its purpose, I could be a hell of a lot more interested." He added that his political philosophy would go something like standing "behind personal values to rebind our social contracts with each other as Americans."

Colbert asked him directly: "Mr. McConaughey, will you run for governor of Texas? It's a simple answer: Yes or hell yes?" McConaughey laughed. "I have no plans to do that right now," he said, and Colbert called that "such a political answer."

"Look, right now, no, I don't get politics," McConaughey said. "Politics seems to be a broken business. Politics needs to redefine its purpose." He will consider "whatever leadership role I can be most useful in, and I don't know that that's politics," McConaughey said. "Right now, I don't see it as politics." So what's with the headlines? "I've been asked that question, about if I was interested in running for governor, quite a bit lately, and I've always kind of given the same answer," he explained. "But evidently one of them came out as 'I would consider it' since I didn't say absolutely no." So... there's a chance? Peter Weber

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