YouTube Influencer or Hollywood Actor? Texas Governor's Race Could Be a Celebrity Toss-up

Melinda Crow by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash

Recent polls are all about actor, turned activist, Matthew McConaughey's potential lead over current Governor, Greg Abbott, even with the primary race more than a year away, And even with McConaughey not having thrown his hat into the ring.

Many are dismissing the actor as a serious candidate. Some of those are ironically, leaning instead to the outspoken YouTube celebrity, Chad Prather, who has already begun actively campaigning. According to the website,, one of Prather's primary campaign points revolves around never allowing elected officials to "lockdown" Texas again in the name of a communicable disease-- the one issue that may cost Abbott his seat.

Abbott's popularity in question over pandemic handling

Though most of his policies have walked a fine line between the CDC recommendations and conservative beliefs, typically leaning closer to the conservative position, Abbott's popularity has slipped over the course of the past year.

First elected as governor in 2014, he was re-elected in 2018 by a 56 to 43 percent margin over Democrat, Lupe Valdez. He faced no serious contenders in the Republican primary held in March of that year, easily claiming the spot on the ballot by a 90 percent margin.

The far-right sector of the Republican party throughout the state has threatened to vote out all elected officials, regardless of their political party, who used their offices to impose restrictions during the pandemic, including lockdowns of businesses, schools, and churches.

According to the website Morning Consult, Abbott's popularity ratings polled lower even after he relaxed pandemic restrictions earlier this year. The site claimed on March 15, less than a month after the disastrous February storm and resulting power outages, that Abbott's approval had dropped six points to 52 percent among all Texas voters.

That approval rating, however still tops either of the state's two Republican senators-- Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Abbott's approval rating among independent voters would seem to be his weak spot, with 33 percent of them showing strong disapproval according to a poll conducted by Morning Star.

Prather suits the independents nicely

Prather's official announcement that he was seeking the office in July 2020, was on Twitter. According to the State Ethics Department, his filing for the office took place in January 2021. He began seriously campaigning as a Republican in March 2021. No records match reports of campaign contributions in Prather's name at this time.

His campaign website has this to say:

He is fast becoming the face of the everyman and conservative common sense voice. Through the power of social media, he may also be one of the most important topical humorists of these current turbulent political times. Prather believes the great state of Texas should be a leader in the US and number one across all categories. Unfortunately, Texas is no longer the Texas that most Texans think it is. He believes that trend must change by putting Texas FIRST!

Though he has been clear garding his conservative position for years, many were not sure if he was serious about running for the office-- possibly because his Facebook page lists him as a "Comedian."

McConaughey will face the same questions about his seriousness

Should McConaughey decide to run for office, something he has not fully dismissed, his seriousness to govern would most certainly come into question. Few can even pin down McConnaughey's politics. He has been known to blast both conservatives and liberals alike, so perhaps it's his middle-of-the-road approach that makes him a popular choice.

Prather recently attacked the actor head-on with this Facebook post:

Every media outlet is running with the idea of Matthew McConaughey being the next Governor of Texas. Every. Media. Outlet. Media! Media!! Media!!! Not sure if you see the agenda yet but it’s right in front of you.

Responses included this one from a McConaughey fan:

I love McConaughey as an actor and a philanthropist, but I would never vote him in as a government official. Sorry, not sorry.. Just no. I think you're better suited for the Governor of Texas position.

Others were not as kind.

Regardless of your position on the conservative-liberal spectrum, the primary campaign stands to be one worth watching, if only for the entertainment value.

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Available as an accomplice to your capers. Let's break out of our chains together. Writing about #travel, #business, #writing, #publishing, and #life.

Waco, TX

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