The poll from the University of Texas and Dallas Morning News found that McConaughey is preferred in both one-on-one matchups, but that Abbott would win in a three-way race.
McConaughey, who lives in Austin, has teased a run for governor for months but has not said whether he would make one as a Republican or a Democrat.
The 52-year-old Oscar-winning actor keeps his political views close to the vest, but his prior remarks suggest that he is moderate to conservative-leaning.
A new poll suggests that actor Matthew McConaughey could defeat either incumbent Republican Greg Abbott or Democrat hopeful Beto O’Rourke for Texas governor
In the new poll, respondents asked about a hypothetical matchup between Abbott and McConaughey preferred the actor, 43 percent to 35 percent, with the rest saying they were unsure.
Asked about a race between McConaughey and O’Rourke, who recently announced his intention to run next year, McConaughey prevailed 49 percent to 27 percent.
However, in a three-way race with all of the candidates running, the plurality preferred Abbott, who garnered 37 percent support to McConaughey’s 27 percent and O’Rourke’s 27 percent.
Only 40 percent said they wanted McConaughey to run for governor, with 33 percent voicing opposition and the remainder saying it didn’t matter to them.
McConaughey, hailing from a small town in deep Texas and raised in a religious family, has hinted at a possible third-party run, saying he has problems with both parties.
‘Each party is claiming to be democracy itself, and in doing so can’t much tell you what they’re about,’ he told AFP earlier this month.
O’Rourke’s announcement earlier this month that he will seek the governor’s office kicks off a third run for office in as many election cycles
He added: ‘You got to go ‘left’ sometimes, you got to go ‘right.’ There are people on the so-called right and the so-called left that are better people for the job at hand at different times.’
‘Look, it’s been discussed. It’s a possible avenue,’ McConaughey said when asked about a run for governor.
‘I would call myself aggressively centrist. Not because that’s the place of gray and compromise… I think today it’s a daring space. It’s the space of outlaws.’
If McConaughey does decide to run for the Lone Star State’s top office, he will need to file by a December 13 deadline.
Pressed on whether he has taken key early steps such as hiring campaign staff or fundraising, he responds with a stock line: ‘I’m not, until I am.’
‘It’s something I’m giving great consideration… there’s some wonderful sacrifices for the awesome position.’
Abbott, a Republican, is seeking a third term and has emerged as a national figure by taking strong stances on lightning rod issues such as abortion and border security
O’Rourke’s announcement earlier this month that he will seek the governor’s office kicks off a third run for office in as many election cycles.
He burst into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary as a party phenomenon but dropped out just eight months later as money and fanfare dried up. In 2028, his bid for US Senate was defeated by incumbent Republican Ted Cruz.
‘It’s not going to be easy. But it is possible,’ O’Rourke said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his announcement. ‘I do believe, very strongly, from listening to people in this state that they´re very unhappy with the direction that Greg Abbott has taken Texas.’
Abbott, a Republican, is seeking a third term and has emerged as a national figure by taking strong stances on lightning rod issues such as abortion and border security.
Texas has not elected a Democratic governor since Ann Richards in 1990. And fresh redistricting in October bolster Republicans’ standing in booming suburban districts that have been drifting away from the party.