TEXAS — Fresh of a new Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll showing him with a sizeable lead over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a hypothetical 2022 contest for governor, actor and Austin resident Matthew McConaughey said he is “measuring” a run for the state’s highest office.

What You Need To Know

  • Appearing on the "Set It Straight: Myths and Legends" podast this week, actor Matthew McConaughey said he is "measuring" a run for Texas governor but needs to "remain an artist"

  • McConaughey leads Gov. Greg Abbott in a newly published poll conducted by the Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler

  • Despite not having announced a 2022 run for Texas governor and having no party affiliation, the polls puts McConaughey nine points ahead of Abbott

  • Former Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke, who hasn't announced a run either, is polling just five points behind Abbott

Appearing on the “Set It Straight: Myths and Legends” podcast this week, McConaughey said, “I'm measuring it. Look, it's going to be in some capacity. I just - I'm more of a folksy and philosopher poet statesman than I am a, per se, definitive politician."

McConaughey has no party affiliation and hasn’t released any details of a platform.

"So I go, well, that's a reason not to, but then I go, no, that's exactly why you should, because politics needs redefinition, but I'm measuring, you know, what is my category? What's my embassy?" the actor continued.

In the poll published earlier this week, McConaughey leads Abbott, whose approval rating has dropped to 45%, by nine points.

Abbots has taken some heat in the wake of his executive orders banning mask and vaccine mandates, the recently passed abortion law that bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy and the devastating February winter storm.

"I have to remain an artist. I've earned my right to enjoy that Saturday night part of life, that music part of life. It has to have music to it. You know what I mean. I'm very good at being diligent, Monday morning, practical, structure, I'm all of that,” McConaughey said.

Despite trailing McConaughey, the poll has Abbott performing well against his Republican primary challengers.

A name that has been generating a great deal of buzz over the last week is former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Speculation that the Democrat will announce a bid for Texas governor by the end of 2021 has been rampant in the past few days.

The poll has O’Rourke gaining on Abbott at just five points behind him.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the poll was conducted Sept. 7-14, surveyed 1,148 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.