‘I would pay attention to someone like Matthew McConaughey’: Poll compares possible Texas governor race candidates

On Balance with Leland Vittert

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Do Democrats have a chance in the 2022 Texas governor’s race? The crisis at the border and President Joe Biden’s approval ratings might hold them back.

Axios reports that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor in Texas next year, giving Democrats a high-profile candidate.

“Beto O’Rourke is a progressive Democrat running in a state where Democrats are not advantaged and typically those candidates don’t do that well,” said Dr. Lauren Wright, an associate research scholar at Princeton University. “A moderate Democrat, perhaps with less of a publicized record, or at least not a progressive record, might be a better bet.”

Wright believes we should keep our eyes out for an Oscar-winning Texan, who could have a better chance of turning the state blue — if he decides to run.

“I would pay attention to someone like Matthew McConaughey, who in the same poll that I checked out, has 35 percent support, which is more than Beto O’Rourke and sitting senators and the sitting governor, which is really of interest to me, but let’s watch it closely.”

Wright is referring to a recent University of Texas-Tyler poll.

That same poll shows that Biden’s support might prove ineffective if either candidate decides to run. The border crisis is hurting the president among a key group: Latino voters.

The University of Texas-Tyler poll shows Latino voters in the state are unhappy with the president. Of 300 Latinos polled on Biden’s job performance, only 13 percent strongly approve of his work so far.

“Whatever is in the news that is a crisis falls on the president’s doorstep,” Wright said. “That’s the most focal point in the government, and so they are ultimately held responsible for whatever is happening.”

According to the same poll, 45 percent of Texans approve of sitting Gov. Greg Abbott’s performance, with a 17 percent approval ratings among Latinos.

The upcoming election is not likely to be a landslide in either direction, since 54 percent of those polled by the University of Texas-Tyler said the state is headed in the wrong direction.

Watch On Balance with Leland Vittert weeknights at 8/7c.

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